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Full text of "Gamers Republic - No. 03 (1998-08)(Millennum Publications)(US)"

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PUBLISHER 1 
LOG 1.3 




I've never felt so good as I did slipping mi Nomad oot of its case 
as the rickety 151 ascended out of Atlanta. Hot moist weather, 72 Ford I 
Fairmont taxies with no AC, and thousands of people in one place dn not I 
make a good mix. Thanktully, this year's show was an eventful one, [ 
helping me keep my mind off of where I was aod how far I had to walk | 
hetween concourses, lonking at that wretched psychedelic carpeting. 
As expected, Sega took center stage at this year's event with the I 
official announcement ol their 128 hit Dreamcast console. At an invitation-only reception, they 
opened with some much needed comic relief. Kevin fata, in a Weekend Update spoof, Joked | 
ahoot Sega's recent checkered past (while slippiog in some hysterical introspectioo about tl 
competitioo), 32x's discovered in tombs beneath the pyramids, and how next year's F3 would be I 
held in Bogata (because it's the only place hotter, more homid, and that makes even less sense 
than Atlanta). It was a clever way nf saying "we koow, and it won't happen again." Afterwards, [ 
Sega COO Bernie Slnlar spoke of the system's amazing capabilities as well as the company's | 
strategic alliances and indostrioos marketing plans. Then the mnment of troth arrived and 
everybody got to see the actual hardware io action. The only game shown stoooed the crowd: an I 
un-named shooter said to he 20% complete. The ooly way I cao describe it is as playable CG, lie I 
pixels were evident. While there was an nn screeo display leading me to believe it was an actual | 
game, it's hart to believe that a video game cnold look so majestic. Later thai night at the g 
Nintendn party, "the Dreamcast shooter" was the topic of many cooversations. The developers 1 1 
spoke with seemed skeptical. Theo agaio, it was opeo bar. Sega attempted tn keep oot t 
cameras bet I saw at least two emerge from under coats, so perhaps some blurry photos have I 



Io the meaotime, Sony stood last as the industry leader with a rock-solid presence, including I 
tun many new games to cooot The PlayStation will enjoy at least a five year run (as all good 
hardware should). I'm still amazed by the PlayStation. It continues to evolve with each passing I 
year. Iliiinil, Spyro, Crasti 3, Wilt 3. Metal Bar Solid, Klin: Soul Rem, Toma rtiiir 3. and I 
too many more In list all stood oot as exemplary 3D titles. Moreover, I'm sore that Sooy IIM is I 
watchiog from on high and taking notes. Rumors of a re-writeable 1-gig mini-disc formal coosole | 
for the year 2000 were circulating among more than a few developers. 

Nintendo's big gun, Mm: Ik Ocarina olTiroe, was exactly as premised, hot surprisingly there | 
was ooly ooe other notable lirst party NE4 annooocement: that of RAM's Fittest Hart (see p 
56). I don't doobt that the N64 has legs; in fact. I think we've only began to see what the system I 
is capable of, but I did expect more (perhaps Mario UPS and a new Oonltey King) in terms ot I 
new games. Of course, this year's Mia will be oext year's Metroii, etc., aod Nintendo can keep I 
tnading that gun for a loop time. Nintendo spoke of a three prong attack to maintain their market I 
share with NG4: Poke'mon, the combioation animated TV show, virtual pet, and BPS (for both HB4 1 
& Same Boy) that's breaking sales records in Japan; and ibe soon to be released Color Game I 
Boy, which can display 00 colors oo screen. After a ten year run. The GameBoy is a part ol I 
Americana; adding color may jest add ten more, but It will be interesting to see if American kids I 
pick op oo Poke'moo lever. Because it's commooal (kids cao build and go head to head with their | 
own monsters) and tied to the tube, something tells me It will, 

PG gaming has reached a point where even the most diehard coosole player cannot deny it 
supremacy. Vnodoo 2 accelerated games socb as limit, Batman 2, aod Sinieo Kakto are I 
currently io a class by themselves. There was inoovation all around in regards to PG gaming, along | 
with the mainstay corridor shooters and real time strategies, which were in abundance. 

Most importantly, the video game industry seems as healthy as ever. With the lioo's share el I 
third party companies developing and acguiring software on multiple viable platforms, small I 
developers bent on staking their claim are fioding homes, and quality in general seems on the | 
rise. Next year's show will be in LA. I hope it soows. 

In closing, the staff ol Bamers' Benoblie woold like to dedicate this issue to Phil Bartman. We I 
ioterviewed him and sent his son a new game console in gralitode just weeks before his untimely I 
death. He was nne ol the nicest and most genuine people I've ever met. He will be missed severely, f 




















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lepublic: (n.) 1. A 
magazine in which the suprem 
power rests on the body of the 
readership entitled to further their 
gaming knowledge, exercised by 
representatives chosen directly or 
indirectly by them. 

2. Any body of persons viewed as a 
commonwealth of ultraistic and 
voracious video gamers. 

3. A philosophical dialogue dealing, 
with the composition and structure ; 
of the gaming genre and all sub- ; 
divisions. 

4. A monthly gaming publication 
encapsulating lavish presentation, 
entertaining prose and in-depth 
information on the subject of video 
and PC games. 



1331 

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The Republic requires gour tnouqhts: 

Please write to: 

Fallout, Gamers' Republic, 

32123 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite 218, 

Westlake Village, CA 91361 U.S.A. 

Or email: editorial@gamersrepublic.com 




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TECHFRQNT . 14 


GIBLETS . 102 


| DREAMCAST .25 


MUSIC 104 


PREVIEWS. 52 


| CINEMATRIX .106 j 


REVIEWS .69 


■ JAMES WOODS 107 \ 



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CONSTANT CREATORS OF NUMEROUS FINE VIDEO GAMES, THE GURUS 
OVER AT TREASURE OF JAPAN TAKE TIME OUT TO CHAT CANDIDLY 
CONCERNING THEIR NEWEST OFFERINGS, RADIANT SILVERGUN AND 
SILHOUETTE MIRAGE: REPROGRAMMED HOPE. 



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' effa's private arcade show was held on Tuesday, May 19th, at the 
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The center is only a few minutes from Sega's head offices and 
its arcade development department- making it the ideal loca- 
tion to showcase their latest hardware line up for the impor- 
tant upcoming summer season. This might well be the final 
wave of Model 3 games as Sega considers cheaper hardware 
alternatives to reach mass markets across the Pacific. 
Although they have yet to announce definite titles for the 
proposed low-cost NEC powered 'Naomi' board, it would have 
to be the logical choice (in terms of portability) considering 
the Dreamcast's PowerVR architecture. There were four 
playable games featured at the show: AM2's incredible Day- 
tona USA 2, running on Model 3, Step 2 hardware, set for a 
summer release. U.S. versions should appear in select 
arcades shortly thereafter. AM2's Fighting Vipers 2, also pow- 
ered by Model 3, Step 2 was there. The popular new-type cast 
and insane graphic detail is sure to capture the same audi- 
ence that helped establish the original's cult-hit status. A 
mid-summer release is scheduled. AM2's Virtua Striker 2 '98 
is another Model 3, step 2 game. The update offers improved 
player and stadium graphics as well as updated gamepiay 
features and attract screens. It's undoubtedly the finest look- 
ing soccer game ever, and a perfect World Cup tie-in. Play it 
in arcades everywhere, now. AMi's Dynamite Cop, a Model 2 sequel 
to Dynamite Deka (a.k.a. Die Hard Arcade) should be out in arcades in 
Japan and the U.S. this summer. GR staff members enjoyed loads of 
Dynamite Deka free play at Sega's E3 booth. Our collective opinion? 
Model 2 makes all the difference. The resolution is high and the lev- 
els can be seen far into the distance. The new moves and throws are 
also infinitely more creative than the original, in addition to a gener- 
al games showcase, Daytona 2 director Toshihiro Nagoshi held a 
press conference where he spoke in detail about the finished version 
of the game. He also officially unveiled his newest Model 3 creation, 
the potentially awesome Spike. This world premiere of AM2's multi- 
player fighting extravaganza was incredible to behold. Sega created 
a special presentation movie specifically for the private show (see 
Spike special on page 59). Finally, to promote Sega's latest racing 
game, a genuine Nascar 
specification stock car 
(from Motegi, see last 
month's story) was 
an exact duplicate of the 
car from Daytona USA. 
1 be raced at Japan's foremost 

its new Daytona 2 design! 

pan's most beautiful race 

i hand to pose for our lucky 

We certainly were more 

i there! 




Perfectly timed with the World Cup in France, 
comes Sega's awesome Virtua Striker 2. Tak- 
ing the superb gamepiay from the original and 
utilizing Mode! 3 power, Sega have managed 
to create the most realistic soccer sim to date. 



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"I GET KNOCKED DOWN. . . " 

In case any of you are interested, 
here are the not-so-flattering dollar fig- 
ures for Sega of America at the end of 
the 1997 fiscal year. Accumulated 
sales figures for the year were about 
two and a half billion, denting their 
budget for a cool $50 million loss. This 
can can be attributed to many poor 
decisions, such as pointlessly expen- 
sive advertising campaigns, and a gen- 
eral lack of market impact due to the 
strong presence of other consoles. 
Sega didn't fair that well in the Euro- 
pean market either. When combined 
with Sega's U.S. losses, the total figure 
comes to $256 million. Fatality! Fortu- 
nately, SO) had no such extreme fail- 
ures to report. In fact, as noted else- 
where, they're committing about $500 
million to the worldwide Dreamcast 
launch, despite such losses. Service 
Games indeed. 



Spike was officially announced with a special- 
ly created demo featuring Mode! 3 graphics 
and SGI footage. The game is so early, howev- 
er that game mechanics are yet to be finalized. 



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TAITO HOWLS INTO ARCADES WITH WOLFBOARD! 



I nee again, all eyes were on Taito as they finally announced their top summer 
games at the private arcade preview on Monday, 25th May... 

The special show was held at the luxurious Akasaka Prince Hotel 

in Tokyo and most of Japan's elite gaming press were present to 

witness the cool games on display. GR was on hand to cover the 

announcements. 
The games being shown included Psychic Force 2012. Powered 

by Taito's newest arcade hardware, the Wolf board, PF2012 is an 

action fighting festival with spectacular effects and stunning envi- 
ronments. It is 100% complete and should be released soon. Next 

was Chaos Heat. This shooting action game will utilize the Taito G 

Net board and concerns the battle waged between humans and 

demonic cosmic cells that can fuse themselves to any material. CH 

is approximately 50% complete, and Taito has no fixed release 

date yet. And then there was Land Maker. This puzzle game 

employs the weakest member of the Taito board family, the F3 

board. Currently at 80% complete, this highly original puzzler is 
expected to appear before 
Summer's end. 

Taito spoke of the impend- 
ing Summer release of its new 
arcade board, called "Taito G 

Net", slated to hit amusement facilities throughout Japan. The 
board has a new function which allows old games to be 
swapped with new games very efficiently. It contains a slot 
which is compatible with PC cards that are on-board each new 
Taito G Net game. Typically, arcade software is installed to the 
ROM on the motherboard, so when any new game is made 
available, arcade operators are forced into the tedious task of 
removing and reconfiguring. It is a lengthy procedure and it's 
not very cost-effective for game developers. Taito claims that 
the PC card will greatly facilitate the manufacturing process 
and reduce the delivery time of new games between the facto- 
ry floor and amusement facilities. To send motherboards of 
most new games, there is often a two to three month lag 
before it reaches amusement facilities because shipping is 
done in order as the each board is manufactured. Now it is 
possible for any arcade to receive new games within three 
days. No news yet on whether and when Taito's finest are going 
to hit arcades Stateside. 



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WOLFBOARD SPECS: 

Polygon per sec: t,ooo,ooo/sec 
Effects: Z-buffer, Transparency, Fog, 
Mipmapping, Perspective Correction, 
Goumud Shading 
Pixel shifting: 45 million pixels/sec 

TAITO NET SPECS: 

Ctockspeed: 50 Mhz 
Memory bandwidth: 100 MHZ 
Geometry calculation: 2.2 m/triangles 
per second 





Eager crowds gathered to try Taito's latest 
coin-op wares. Chaos Heat was a surprise 
announcement and looked like a Real Time 
Resident Evil pitting your character against 
strange Parasite Evil inspired creatures. A cool 
perspective during the game combined with 
excellent game mechanics make this an ideal 
choice for home conversion sometime in the 
near future. 







KONAMI KIDS KOMBAT 

eiven enough time and permutations, just about any 
genre at some point loses its mind and unleashes... 

.-..upon the World one screwed up incarnation. The genre in question here 
is one on one fighting, and that one screwed up incarnation is Konami's 
new Rakugakids. 

~rh Tinkle Town, a group of children stumble upon stumble upon a ancient ruins. While 
exploring, the game's hero Jelly Master, happens upon some strange crayons. The children 
begin doodling and are soon questioning their Kooi-Aid as the drawings magically come to 
Hfe. Then the hero's older brother Bal Murphy steals some of the crayons and creates the 
havoc causing Mamezo. Time for the doodles to battle it out. 

This incredibly bizarre fighter features Parappa-ish 2D characters who can stretch and 
deform to perform all man- 
ner of crazy attacks. A vari- 
ety of modes. Including 
Story, Fight, battle, and 
Raising, which ,f!lows a 
character to learn your par- 
ticular fighting'^tyte, add 
even more weirdness to 
this head trip of a fighte^ 
Only from the Japanese. 



HEO GEO 64 
SAMURAI SLASH! 

SNK's Hyper Neo Geo 64 will receive 
its first sequel with the release of 
Samurai Spirits 2. In an attempt to 
improve on the softly received original, 
(wo new characters have been added. 



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dSC M0 JEFF GORDON 

Opting not to have a booth at E3, (except for Jeff Gor- 
don's car in the lobby)... 

...ASC Games hosted the gaming press to a weekend of 
Nascar racng and a f onmal introduction to their 1998-1999 
iine-.-p. The event featured three races at the Michigan 
Speedway, an official unveiling of Jeff Gordon Racing (by Jeff •— 
himself), and 'he Fhst look at Player i's new combat boat racing game for the PlaySta- 
JSJufc. tion Dead in the Water. What initially could have been just another mediocre Nascar 
*3£Z. sim turned into a futuris'V very fast paced racing title with ultra cool track design, very 




realistic physics models, and an abundance of lighting effects. From the media lounge 
in the center of the Michigan Speedway, Jeff Gordon spoke of his involvement in the 
game (he is co-desig ni ng and co-prodjcing) and the melding of his two passions in 
iife, racing and video games Jeff seemed very sincere and, unlike most celebrity 
spokespeople, seemed to truly care about the game he was 
pjrt'ng his name on. jGR is coming to the PlayStation, Ninten- 
do 64, and PC later this year. Later that evening, we fought 
through the noise of screaming Detroit Red Wings fans to 
check out Dead in the Water at a local brewery. Developed by Player 
One, Dead in the Water is.^according to ASC Games, "a comedic water 
combat racing game". Sounds like a new genre to me. Featuring very 
wacky, yet cool character and boat designs, awesome weapons and 
power-Lips, very impressive, water effects and a link-up battle mode, 
Dead in the Water hits your PlayStation this winter. On another note, 
ASC annoL. n ced more of its 1998 line-up, including a sequel to their hit 
bowl ; ng game Ten Pin Alley, TNN Outdoors Hunter (using that Unreal 
eng ; ne') and Last Defense Armada, which is a space-based action, 
advenhye game Also talked about briefly was an unnamed project 
which also features the Unreal engine and another game with Player 
One called Tommy Thunder. 

Special thanks to ASC Games, Access Communications, Player 1, and 
Jeff Gorrio n . fo r putting together an excellent event. 








SOA SKIPS TOWN 




ega of America has announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters 
from Redwood City, CA to San Fransisco... 

...(this includes SegaSoft and Sega Enterprises). The impending arrival of Dreamcast along with 
'heir brutal fiscai report for this year must certainly have prompted a desire for a fresh start. SOA 
will occupy some 650,000 square feet of the high tech Townsend Center, completely taking over 
the sixth and half of the fifth Floor. Having signed a ten year lease that looks to save them a great 
deal of cash (despite the astronomical prices of the area), they will also be bringing some 800 hun- 
dred much needed jobs to the area. "Sega is excited to be moving to San Francisco, the birthplace 
of interactive media. A dynamic, creative community and one of the world's best places to live and 
work make it the ideal location for Sega, particularly as we prepare to launch our SUPER 
console video game system, Dreamcast, in 1999," said the effervescent Bernie Stolar, 
COO of Sega of America. Let's hope they handle this hardware better than the Saturn... 

BR STAFF GET UNREAL AT E3! 

e stated we'd slap down some major ass kicking at E3, and thank- 
fully the Unreal competition at this year's GT Interactive party. . . 

...was the venue to prove ourselves. Amongst the throng of cake, beer, BBQ chicken and 
high-end PCs was a three-way multi-player Unreal competition. Entering the proceed- 
ings for the home team was Jeremy Coreby {GRcoreby), David Hodgson {GRcthulhu) and 
Dave Rees (GRmuskie). After a spot of deathmatch slappage and bouts of drunken tom- 
foolery, the competition {from every other gaming mag and Unreal internet fan site out 
-* " there) culminated in the final bout. The players? Coreby, Hodgson and T. Elliot Cannon 
(Myscha the sled dog), one of Team Unreal's craziest level designers. GR spotted Mr. 
Cannon tooling up a little unfairly with maximum firepower prior to the final bout, but 
that did little to sway our unerring accuracy at mowing him down with the Razorjack. 
■* ^.lh,e en d, there could be only one; Hodgson fragged his way to victory, with Coreby a very 
""close second. The prize? A couple of free Voodoo2 cards and other assorted gubbins. 



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MICROSOFT, SEGA, SONY 

AND NINTENDO... IN DEEP 
WITH THE DEA?! 

Sony, Nintendo, and Sega have each 
invested considerable amounts of cash 
and interest into Enix's upcoming Digi- 
tal Entertainment Academy. Recently 
Microsoft announced that they aim to 
invest ¥3 million into the new venture. 
This has undoubtedly turned many 
heads. Currently Enix still holds 72% 
control of the Academy and it appears 
they might continue to "enjoy" such a 
share. They will be launching with an 
impressive operating capital in the 
range of ¥70 million. The DEA should 
be the Titanic of game design schools 
when it opens. We'll have much more 
to report on the Academy in upcoming 
issues. 

RARE EXPANSION 

Everyone knows that Rare's got 
themselves a pretty sweet little hamp- 

stead going on over there in the 

middle of the English countryside. 
Twycross to be exact, a place famous 
for having ten whole houses and a zoo 
within a stone's throw from Fortress 
Rare (the reasoning behind this move is 
that the "serenity of the surroundings is 
viewed as a great company asset, its 
relaxed charm and lack of city hassles 
such as pollution and constant traffic 
helping the employees to concentrate 
on doing what they do best"). Well, now 
Rare's in the middle of development for 
another site to their operations after 
coverting nearby barns into state-of- 
the-art software bunkers (two GR reps 
have been there and we can tell you, it's 
just like those British Government field 
encampment centers 007 used to visit). 
The location? Hawaii? The wilds of 
Tibet? Nope. A mile down the road... 



Thanks to GT for a grand night of frags and festivities: 






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WALK SOFTLY & CARRY A BIG MAGIC STICK. 




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oivarrf Lincoln (Chairman of NOA) thinks that Perfect Dark is "dramatically better" than 
Goldeneye. Peter Main (Executive of Sales and Marketing) knows for a fact. . . 

...that "the foes in Perfect Dark have 200% the intelligence of Goldeneye ene- 
mies" (exactly what this means is unclear, but it excited us anyway). After 
watching the Perfect Dark demo at E3 and clapping politely, we too were sali- 
vating at the thought of getting to grips with Joanna Dark. Then we dis- 
covered that the enhanced Goldeneye engine has a whole tot more than 
extra enemies, more death animations and Grey bulbous-headed Area 
51 rejects - it also boasts specular lighting, and up until now, the Nin- 
tendo 64 couldn't do specular such an effect... 
And then we uncovered the shocking truth. The real reason Perfect Dark won't be released until 
1999 is that it incorporates an extra chip (either inside the cartridge itself or slotted into the front 
of the machine) that is capable of handling a multitude of advanced graphical effects. Think FX 
Chip, The Next Generation. Our highly secretive contact also informed us that Perfect Dark was 
just basic stuff compared to what this yet unannounced chip is capable of producing, and this 
should ensure not only the survival, but also.the resurgence of the system for the next five years. 
Forget your Bulky Drives folks, and get ready for those expensive FX-style games with graphical 
effects to take Nintendo into the next generation of... cartridge gaming! 



HIGHWAY TO THE NEO'GEO 



NINTENDO RAM THE POINT HOME. . . NEW MINI-CARTRIDGE FOR NINTENDO 64? 

Not only are we expecting enhanced Nintendo 64 graphics thanks to the "FX2" chip, but we're 
also expecting a 4 MEG RAM cartridge (slotting into the top of the machine just in front of the car- 
tridge port) around the size of a memory card to ship with a certain big-selling release this year! 
Primarily used to enable high-res textures while keeping frame rates up on "certain action titles," 
. the expected cost of this Bulky Drive part is around $20 and will initially be included with the 
|game in question. The plans for '99? An 8 MEG RAM upgrade. This news, once substantiated, is 
£sure to render the Bulky Drive obsolete as every part gets removed and released as an add-on! 



ACTIVISM GETS MEDIEVAL 



looks to be a blindingly good-looking 
racing title. Extreme Rally has just been 
announced by SNK to fall neatly into 
the arcade off-road genre so popular at 
the moment. No official truck licenses 
have been granted, so when you scoot 
through the eight vehicles and pick the 
Hummer, you're actually picking a 
"Sporty I MSi 97" with the highlights 
widened slightly. Actual gameplay 
looks fantastic with a mixture of off and 
on-road, downward inclines are 
designed to make the most of your 
truck's suspension, and Ihe obligatory 
city course looks as impressive as 
Sega's latest offerings. More pics soon! 




/ 



n a move that's sure to excite almost nobody, Activision are set 
to release not one, not fifty, not 150, but thirty "classic"... 



...Atari 2600 games on one PlayStation disc under the Activi- 
sion Classics moniker this October. Amazingly, the games 
will look and play exactly as they did some seven hundred 
years ago, a technical feat long thought impossible. Titles 
will include Pitfall, River Raid, Fishing Derby (phew, glad 
that one made it in!), Sky Jinks, and a bunch of other elderly 
games. With a retail price of $29.95, that's like a dollar a 
^game... a good deal depending on how you look at it. 

t" TOGETHER AGAIN 

If intendo and Hudson have established a 
If new company called Manegi. 

The company is capitalized at 1 billion yen. Nin- 
tendo has financed 60% with Hudson footing 
the rest of the bill. The purpose of Manegi is to 
engage in licensing software and developing 
environments, and not the production or devel- 
opment of games. Mr. Ikeda, who was a former 
production director of Nintendo, will be in 
charge. In the past, Nintendo has been criti- 
cized for being too strict with their standards in 
game developing environments. By doing so, 
Jjg;. Nintendo has been able to retain some 

control over game quality. However, with 
more peripherals scheduled to be 
released, Nintendo has come to realize 
that they have to make it easier for devel- 
.opers to engage in game creation. 



HUDSON IN THE DEEP 

Continuing gaming 's aquatic trend, Hudson will be 
releasing b.l.u.e: Legend of Water... 

Continuing gaming's aquatic trend, Hudson will be 
releasing b.l.u.e: Legend of Water \u\y 9th in Japan for the 
PlayStation. Detailing the adventures of a girl called Mia 
and her dolphin Luka, you'll explore the submerged 
remains of an ancient Moo civilization shrine. The game 1 
consists of five levels, or "stories" as they are 
called, and how you complete each one has a 
tangible effect on the outcome of the game. 
You'll contend with ocean currents and numer- 
ous enemies and obstacles on your quest to 
unlocking the secrets within yourself and those 
hidden among the ruins, b.l.u.e. should provide 
a cool, trippy refuge from the pre-millennium 
heat of the summer. 











fflMMF 3? ff0/ fflMJTf ARENA? YES! 

/n an attempt to focus on the multi-player aspect of Quake (and piss 
off everyone with a modem connection)... 

...John Carmack, the lead programmer at id Software, has announced that the next incarnation of Quake 
will be a Deathmatch refined version. So NO QUAKE 3. Quake Arena will be specialized for multi-player 
gaming and internet play primarily, with bandwidth reducing modifications galore. The single player 
game will be reduced to a progressive bot challenge, allowing the developmental goals to be single-mind- 
ed, and the results to be perfect, id are leaving the one-player intense first-person fests to the newcom- 
ers, whjle they try for multi-player domination and getting those pings down... 

LETS PLAY GAME PROJECT 

Sony computer Entertainment (SCE) has started a project called "Let's 
Play Game '98" and will be recruiting game creators 

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has started a project called "Let's Play Game '98" and will be recruit- 
ing game creators between July 1 and August 15. This project officially started back in 1995 in order to 
develop "unique yet new games". If a game creator's portfolio catches an auditor's eyes, he or she will 
be given all the equipment, funding, and living costs necessary to develop the game. About 200 creators 
have been divided into 17 different project teams and each team is working on its own game. The first 
game title to be born from this project is called Sai and was released on June 18. Four more titles are 
scheduled to be out by the end of this year. 

Indiana lapia and the laWplot 

eood news: They're looking for someone to play Lara Croft in next year's 
Tomb Raider movie. Bad news: The words "Anna Nicole Smith... 

...have been uttered in the same sentence as 

"perfect for the part" (possibly a plan hatched 

by the same "talent scouts" who spotted Kylie 

Minogue and thought "Hey! What a great 

Cammy she'd make!"). Good news; Bruce Willis 

and his Paramount clout was involved in nego- 
tiations to ensure Tomb Raider; The Movie did- 
n't turn into Street Fighter: The Movie. Bad 

news: A little bit of nepotism has allowed execs 

to be swayed with the idea that Bruce's wife 

could take the role. Good news: Paramount 

decided that the film might rake in just that 

extra couple of hundred million if an actual 

script existed. Bad news: They hired "literary 

genius" Brent Freidman (responsible for 

sweeping masterpiece of cinema called Mortal 

Kombat Annihilation), and now apparently Lara 

Croft will search for artifacts in the icy arctic 

and tropical ruins of South America where "nor- 
mally extinct" creatures roam. How novel. Will 

she be battling Germans and running away 
* from spear-wielding Tribesmen, too? However, 
^at time~of writing, the real Lara Croft was still 

unknown. Our choice? Daphne from Frasier. At 

least she's English. 




* H 



m.. 

^1 




CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP'S 
THE NAME OF MY SOUL 

Nintendo announced that they will 
reduce the price of the N64 by 16% 
from ¥16,800 to ¥14,000 {about $100 
US) starting on July 1. So far the com- 
pany has sold 3.15 million systems In 
Japan, still far behind PlayStation and 
Saturn totals. With the price drop and 
the planned release of the long awaited 
F-Zero X and Pokemon Stadium this 
summer, Nintendo is hoping desperate- 
ly to increase market share in their 
homeland. 

COLOR OH THE CHEAP 

It has been announced that the Game- 
Boy Color will be priced at ¥8900 
(about $65). ..With the help of super 
popular game titles such as Tetris and 
Pokemon, well over 19 million mono- 
chrome GameBoys have been sold. It is 
expected that GameBoy Color will sell 
well even considering the system's 
price premium over the black and white 



3D SONIC JOINS THE 
UNTOUCHABLES! 

"He pulls a Sonic rip-off, you pull a law- 
suit. One 0' you's in da courts, da 
other's in da Green Hill Zone!" Over one 
thousand patents were reviewed late 
this Spring regarding tradmarking solid 
three dimensional objects. One of the 
most prolific of patents involved Sega 
and their Sonic the Hedgehog character 
- among the first five companies and 
objects to be registered. Sega now 
owns world-exclusive rights to the use 
of the character in a three-dimensional 
format. No other organization can use 
the three dimensional Sonic model 
now, for any reasons, without the offi- 
cial endorsement of Sega. The other 



Fujiya Co.'s Poki Chan figures, and 
other incredibly fruity icons of modern 
weirdness. 



CAPCOM NEW-TYPE RPG GET! 

Capcom has stated that it will be releasing a "new -type" RPG series beginning 
sometime next year. What's interesting about this RPG series is... 

...that it will consist of 24 (!) different titles and each will be released in one month intervals. The series will be designed 
for Sega's Drejamcast console, and each game will cost at least half as much as regular software for the system. Every 
game will contaflfour unique stories, each with their own full ending sequence. According to Capcom, players can com- '. 
plete each game in about four hours. And although each story has a different ending, the entire series will have a com- 
mon theme an2 storyline so players can feel a sense of continuity between quests (a la Shining Force 3). Capcom's cel- 
ebrated scenario writers group "Flagship", led by Director Okamoto, will be developing the two-year RPG epic. It's this 
kind ofcommitmentendtnterest from Capcom that will keep the Dreamcast alive and well in Japan. There's been no solid 
word of a US release yet, but that should change as gamers everywhere get wind of this exciting news. 










m 



GameBoy, Nintendo has to release 


•* 


attractive game titles. Don't worry... 


1 


Zelda is already in progress. 


9 



H 



8:< 
4:" 



W- 



I 



•INALLY, THE GAMERS' REPUBLIC CHART HAS BEEN TWEAKED TO OUR SATISFACTION. WE'VE COMPILED EXTENSIVE TRSTS CHARTS 
' INTO A BEHEMOTH OF GAMING KNOWLEDGE. NOTING THE MA/OR SELLERS FOR THE PLAYSTATION, IT COMES AS NO SURPRISE THAT 
NAMCO'S TEKKEN 3 STORMS IN AT THE TOP SPOT (SEEING AS HOW IT IS THE GREATEST PLAYSTATION FIGHTING GAME). NEED FOR SPEED 
3 SHOWS HOW FINALLY A GREAT RACING GAME CAN SELL WELL WITH E.A.'S OUTSTANDING MARKETING MUSCLE. MEANWHILE, NINTENDO HAS 
RELEASED ANOTHER GAME... AND EVERY GAME-STARVED NINTENDO FAN NEEDS A LITTLE 1080 ACTION IN THEIR LIVES. LOW PRICING KEEPS THE 

Saturn fans content, and World Cup soccer fever has gripped both Japanese and the U.K. gamers... 




r 1 [_)!=> H BEST SELLING PLAYSTATION TITLES BASED ON UNITS SOLD 
APRIL 'SB 

S - \game§ jh- \publlsher]j ^- \apprax.pricel ]l — | 
TEKKEN 3 - NAMCO ► $45 



^ 



NEED FOR SPEED 3 > E.A. ► $42 
b_TRIPLE PLAY '99 - E.A. ► 542 
|4_rOMB RAIDER - EIDOS ► 520 

RESIDENT EVIL 2 - CAPCOM ► 550 



G_WCW NITRO *■ THQ ► 542 
7_CRASH BANDICOOT - S.C.E.A. ► 521 
B_NBA SHOOTOUT '98 - S.C.E.A. ► 539 
9_MZ.fi '99 > S.C.E.A. > 541 
10_NASCAR 98'- ELECTRONIC ARTS ► 541 



i 

_a9 

Q1Q 



1 | ~ ISH- BEST SELLING NINTENDOG4 TITLES BASED OM UNITS SOLO APRIL 'OB 



1080 - NINTENDO OF AMERICA ► $51 
_YOSHl'S STORY - N.O.A. ► $50 
B_GOLDENEYE 007 - N.O.A. ► $61 
<*_RAMPAGE W.T. - MIDWAY ► $51 
SUPER MARIO 64 - N.O.A. ► $41 



G MARIO KART64 ► N.O.A. ► $40 
7_WCW VS. NWO (W.T.) ► THQ ► $61 
B_WAVE RACE 64 - N.O.A. ► $40 
3_NBA COURTSIDE ► N.O.A. ► $51 
iOjCRUIS'N USA - N.O.A. ► $40 




|bDp t Z SHI SgfcXJI — I 1 BEST SELLING SATURN TITLES BASED ON UNITS SOLO APRIL '9B * 




TOMB RAIDER - EIDOS ► $21 
QUAKE ► SEGA OF AMERICA ' 
\_NBA LIVE '98 - E.A. ► $40 
LAST BRONX - S.O.A. ► $20 

5_so«;c r - s.o.a. ► $30 



= G_SONIC 3D BLAST ► S.O.A. ► $20 



$21 ^7 STREET FIGHTER-THE MOVIE - ACCLAIM ► $10 
0_DUKE NUKEM 3D - S.O.A. ► $30 
El MANSION HIDDEN SOULS - S.O.A. ► $10 
r^lO NBA ACTION '98 - S.O.A. ► $29 

- 9 



i i |_i(_ 



BEST SELLING COMPUTER TITLES BASED ON UNITS SOLO APRIL '9B 



o 



\_STARCRAFT - BLIZZARD ► $45 B_MYST* BRODERBUND ► $18 

^_DEER HUNTER - WIZARDWORKS ► $20 7_STAR WARS REBELLION ► LUCAS - $47 
3_B/G GAME HUNTER *■ HEAD GAMES ► $20 BjROPHY BASS * SIERRA ► $11 
4_TITANIC - CYBERFLIX ► $23 3_POLICE QUESTS - SIERRA ► $10 

5 D.H. EXT. SEASON ► WIZARDWORKS ► $10 lO_NASCAR 2 *• PAPYRUS ► $20 



.t^np fa=n span 



o- 




X.FIFA: RTWC 98' - EA ► PSX... SLSTOLEN SONG ► SONY ► PSX... 
l3_W0RLD STADIUM 2 ► NAMCO ► PSX... ^BAROQUE ► STING ► 
SATURN... 5_SUPER REAL MAHJONG P7 ► SETA ► SATURN... 
>B_PARASITE EVE ► SQUARE ► PSX ... 7_TEKKEN 3 ► NAMCO ► 
PSX ... B_MELTY LANCE R ► IMADIO ► SATURN... B_GRAN TURIS- 
l/HO ► SONY ► PSX... lO^SUPER ROBOT WARS F - BANPRESTO ► 
'SATURN 



t_WORLD CUP 98' ► PSX ► EA... B GRAN TURISMO ► PSX ► SONY 
... 3_RESIDENT EVIL 2 - PSX ► VIRGIN... 4_MEN IN BLACK ► PSX 
► PSX ... 5__GOLDENEYE ► N64 ► NINTENDO... GJIFA: RTWC 98 - 
PSX ► EA... 7J0RSAKEN - PSX ► ACCLAIM... B THREE LIONS ► 
PSX ► TAKE 2... 9_CR0C - PSX ► EA... 
ID V-RALLY - PSX ► OCEAN 



I gk__*U J^C -k__*l -k__pL -k__*l 



m/™ the ™ c multi ' f0rmat chart, the battle is on between nintendo and sony. nintendo's 1080 snowboarding takes 
ww the top spot due to the fact that it's primarily an astounding game, and also because of the lack of product in 
the Nintendo inventory (the rest of the Nintendo games charting is evidence enough of this), meanwhile, Sony shows 
that outstanding software, excellent marketing and low prices on the classics can keep playstation games selling... 



tlCDfO ^ lAJSnt z U J widSC D t=anni = S best selling t itles from april 'aa 



1080 - N64 - $51 

_TEKKEN 3- PSX ► $45 
3_NEED FOR SPEED 3 ► PSX ► $42 
QtJRIPLE PLAY '99 - PSX ► $42 
YOSHl'S STORY - N64 " $50 




BjGOLDENEYE 007 ► N64 ► $61 
7_TOMB RAIDER - PSX ► $20 
B_RESIDENT EVIL 2 - PSX ► $50 
9_WCW NITRO - PSX ► $42 
tQ_RAMPAGE WORLD TOUR ► N64 ' 



,4^ 



$51 



t_SUPER MARIO 64 - N64 ► $41 
B_CRASH BANDICOOT - PSX ► $21 
l3_MARIO KART64 - N64 ► $40 
14WCW VS. NITRO *■ N64 *■ $61 
tS_NBA SHOOTOUT '98 - PSX *■ $39 



tB_MLB '99 - psx ► $41 

Y7_NASCAR '98 - PSX ► $41 
IB_TWISTED METAL - PSX ► $21 
ta_WAVE RACE 64 - N64 ► $40 
BO_/VB4 COURTSIDE - N64 ► $51 



Si 



§3 



The Gamers' Republic Database... 



.the most comprehensive charts detailing your favorite software 11 



i=nJil—ui i=>' L-ui- ) p=iwi => the 




■ REPUBLIC THROWS DOWN THEIR TOP FIVE FOR B/'BB 



cl. InocJgson 

I_Q2 MPl ► PC 

UNREAL ► PC 
3JTEKKEN 3- PS 
4_SOUL CALIBUR ► ARCADE 

MGS ► PS 



cd. Inai—wsiscDn 



\_UNREAL ► PC 
TOMBA - PS 
3_ROAD RASH 3D ► PS 
4_/H/SCH/£F MAKERS- N64 
S_S. MIRAGE ► SAT 



n n. ^i—i^^in 

%JB. HEROES ► SAT 
^VIGILANTE 8- PS 
3_BARE KNUCKLE 2 ► GEN 
4_G. HEROES "GEN 
5 CHAOTIX ►GEN 





%v 



\_UNREAL ► PC 
^DESCENT FREESPACE+PC 
3_THUNDERFORCE V ► PS 
4_QUAKE 2- PC 
5_NFL EXTREME - PS 

a 
t>. uuii—i—ianns 

\JuNREAL *■ PC 

e_P. FIGHTER ► PS 

3_QUAKE 2" PC 

4 ■ STARCRAFT ► PC 

5 SECRET O' MANA ► SNES 



t>. siscrlntrs/— 

c= : ^ 



KARTIA *■ PS 

Bust A Move 2 ► N64 

3_G. HEROES ► SAT 

4 FF Tactics- ps 

5_ !SS '98 



nn. IncjtjtDs 



l_UNREAL ► PC 
B_P. FIGHTER ► PS 
3 BUDOKAN ►GEN 
<\_GUILTY GEAR ► PS 
5 ! £. GEARBOLT ►PS 




r - . L-CDclslnsr-t: 











IP HITCHES IN HARDWARE: wr each 

CONSOLE HAS AMIQIfE GRAPHICAL CHARACTER 



i e 



vt 



The recent dominance of 3D graphics in console 
games has ushered in not only a new level of real- 
jr ism, but also a dizzying assortment of new graphical 

X glitches and'shortcomings. Where before, a game might 

i, suffer from flicker or slowdown, now common shortcom- 

ings range from pixellation to texture warping, from mip- 
^•£ map pop-in to screen-door transparencies. Some of the com- 
mon complaints, such as low framerates or polygon pop-up, 
are not unique to the console scene, 'and tend to happen, at 
least to some extent, irrespective of platform. Some, such as 
the Saturn's, lack of lighting effects, are console specific, but not 
inevitable, as demonstrated by (among others) Fighters 
Megamix and Quake. Finally, problems like the seams between 
polygons, which are now so familiar to Playstation owners, are 
both peculiar to a single console and essentially endemic. 

The essential source of these problems is simple: game con- 
soles are attempting to compete with the rendering perfor- 
i?. mance of high-end computer systems for one tenth the 

* x i price, and to even hope to accomplish this, some cor- 
JjJL ners must be cut. Consoles do get boosts in two 

****f £ areas: first, televisions are less sharp than moni- 

* $ *%\ tors, so showing a screen 320 pixels wideand 240 
, ,*•* i -'^y pixels high is acceptable for a console, while a 

$% 4^ computer needs to be able to handle on the 
";. order of four times that many pixels (twice as 
"" - ,#; i many in each direction) in order to avoid looking 

' .. ■ ..s- ;':*•' horriblyblocky; and second, since consoles are 
( ' devoted entirely to games, the hardware can be 
more specialized, delivering better performance at a 
lower price (a strategy borrowed soon after in the PC 
"*" market with the release of 3D graphics accelerator cards 
from a number of companies). Nonetheless, in order to 
OjV compete effectively, console developers still needed to take 
" v some shortcuts, and the fact that more of the graphical work was 
being done in hardware meant that once those shortcuts had been 
chosen, they were there for good. It is the distinctiveness of the hard- 
ware that gives each of the Saturn, the Playstation, and the Nintendo64 
its own unmistakable look. 



THE USUAL SUSPECTS: 
CROSS-PLATFORM PROBLEMS 

I There are a variety of shortcomings associated with real-time ren- 
dering on any platform, which may be accentuated in the setting of a 
M console's more limited resources. They arise from a number of dif- 
jjl^ r, ferent constraints, including limited computational power, limit- 
ed RAM, and fixed screen resolutions. 

I? *** 

if.- «•*;*■ ^ 



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SPEED LIMITATIONS: 
SLOVOOm AMD POL UOH POP-UP 

Slowdown, when games get choppy at certain points, and polygon 
pop-up, when objects seem to appear out of nowhere at very close 
range, are the two most common manifestations of the fact that a game's 
programmer is trying to get the most out of a system with limited com- 
putational resources. Although the details are somewhat more compli- 
cated, the essential idea is that a particular renderer can draw a certain 
number of polygons per second; the developer then has to balance 
detail of scenery (number of polygons per frame) with smoothness 
(number of frames per second). A short horizon is a commonly adopted 
solution, as it is in some sense an efficient way of reducing detail: poly- 
gons that are far away are 
very small and will contribute 
less to the overall picture 
than polygons which are 
near, 

Generally, this is not a very 
noticeable problem, but 
sometimes, as with Turok on 
the Nintendo64, the level of 
detail that the developer 
wants is high enough that it is necessary to draw only the closest objects 
in order to maintain an acceptable frame rate; conversely, sometimes the 
developer decides that a lower framerate is an acceptable sacrifice in 
order to allow further visibility, as with Allen vs. Predator on the Jaguar. 

Mechwam'or 2 demon- 
strates another option: to 
maintain both the framerate 
and the horizon by cutting 
back on the detail level of 
all the objects in the game. 
However, this is a route sel- 
dom taken, as it tends to 
give a much less- pleasing 
overall impression. Of 
course, such issues are more problematic in some games than in others; 
it is not surprising that complaints of this nature are most common in 
racing games, where both framerate and distance of visibility can have a 
significant impact on gameplay. 





JASSEO EDGES 



The fact that the screen is made up of a fixed number of pixels is most 
apparent in "jaggies," which is the technical term for the jaggedness of 
diagonal lines or edges on the screen. This is an old problem, and the 
solution is also old: when possible, blend the colors of adjacent areas to 
make edges appear smoother. This doesn't get rid of jaggies entirely, but 
can make the results look substantially better. While simple enough to 
do when it can be done in advance, as is often the case for something 



2SESGB 




in 



IT 



like black text on a white background, realtime 3D rendering makes it 
more complicated. Since the whole point is that scenes can be drawn 
from different angles or 
with different arrange- 
ments on the fly, any 
smoothing (known as 
"edge antialiasing") has 
to be done in real time 
as well. In fact, this is 
not exceptionally diffi- 
cult, and can be done by 
making edge pixels par- 
tially transparent, or by 
supersampling, which is the process of rendering at a higher resolution 
and then averaging the pixel colors. The Nintendo64 has this as an 
option, but neither the Playstation nor the Saturn does it at all. 




THE LIMITS OF TEXTURES 







M*& i 


:«j|m?t 








# ■ 



Because textures are only made up of a fixed number of pixels (often 
called "texels" to avoid confusion with the screen's pixels), there is typ- 
ically only a certain range of magnification at which they look good. Get 
too close to a texture, and you get what may be the best known prob- 
lem with 3D graphics: pixellation. This may be somewhat alleviated by 
bilinear filtering, which makes individual texels stand out less, but in 
severe cases of pixellation, nothing can make it look good; bilinear fil- 
tering only gives everything a blurry look. Get too far away, and more 
subtle problems appear. If a 64x64 texture is far enough away that it 
only takes up 32x32 pixels, only one in four texels is actually being 

shown, so in the worst 
case, if the texture were 
something like a 64x64 
black and white checker- 
board, you might end up 
seeingall white, all black, 
or just about anything in 
between. This sort of 
effect tends to make tex- 
tures that are too far 
away shimmer as you 
move, and can also make nonexistent patterns seem to appear - a phe- 
nomenon known as the "Moire effect." All three consoles suffer from 
pixellation/blur and the Moire effect. 

The primary (but by no means completely effective) method of com- 
batting these problems in real time is mip-mapping, where each texture 
is stored at different resolution levels, and closer polygons use higher 
resolution textures. In the checkerboard example, if the checkerboard is 
too far away to see individual black and white squares, the best thing 
to do is to have it be uniform gray, so it can have a lower resolution solid 
gray texture for when it gets further away. However, this causes the 
problem called mip-map pop-in, which is a visible jump when switching 
between mip-maps. The checkerboard would be a particularly drastic 
example, since you would see it switch from black and white to gray as 
you moved away from it. Averaging different mip-maps can solve this 
problem, and when combined with bilinear filtering, it is called trilinear 
filtering. Hence, both the Saturn and Playstation are subject to mip-map 
pop-in, but the Nintendo64 avoids it. V 

LOCAL CHARACTER: 

CONSOLE-SPECIFIC PROBLEMS 

While all of the aforementioned problems have little to do with J / 



sions. These include texture warping, polygon dropout, and a variety of 
others. They differ strikingly from the previous set of problems in their 
local color; while issues like short horizon versus framerate will always 
be relevant to a certain extent, console-specific glitches simply reflect' 
that these are the first generation of 3D-accelerated consoles, and are 
not likely to persist into the upcoming generation of consoles. Indeed, 
the Nintendo64 is practically glitch-free compared to the Saturn and 
Playstation, which is not too surprising when one considers that the 
designers had an extra year to work on it after the Saturn and Playstation 
had been released. 




J I 



a platform (although the Nintendo64 clearly demonstrates that 
extra features can do a lot to alleviate problems like pixellation v ■' 
and mip-map pop-in), there are a wide range of glitches which / 
were introduced to specific consoles by particular design deci- ♦ V 



THAT'S VAR PEO * 

Although the Nintendo64 has perspective-correct texture mapping,^ 
both the Saturn and the Playstation suffer noticeably from texture & 
warping, which happens because they don't make sure that parts of 
a polygon which are further away are as small as they should be 
compared to the parts which are nearer. Doing perspective correc- 
tion requires a division operation for each pixel, to determine 
where that pixel lies on the texture. Instead of doing this, both 
the Playstation and Saturn do what is called "linear interpola- 
tion," which means that they essentially assume that any two 
adjacent pixels are the same distance apart on the texture. The 
problem is that this is not what happens in real life: simply pic- 
ture a board textured with a checkered pattern. The squares are 
all the same size, but the ones that are further away appear 
smaller, which is to say that they are fewer pixels across. This 
means that two adjacent pixels of the nearer part are closer 
together on the texture than two adjacent pixels of the further 
part, since it takes more of them to get across the same size 
square in the checkerboard. 

While both the Saturn and the Playstation use linear interpola 
tion, their methods are 
significantly different in 
that the Playstation 
uses triangles while the 
Saturn uses quadrilater- 
als. In technical par- 
lance, this means that 
the Playstation is using 
a linear approximation 
to perspective correc- 
tion while the Saturn 
uses a bilinear approximation. >■ 
Heuristically, you can think of the differ- *Jr 
ence being that the Saturn takes fourj A *' ■ 
corners into account at all times, while 
the Playstation only uses three. The 
difference is very noticeable: the 
Playstation algorithm tends to pro- ! 
duce angular results, while the VV'-' 
Saturrj, although still incorrect, is less * *♦.• , * 
visibly problematic, interestingly, the 
Saturn's algorithm is no more computa- 

tionalthan the PlayStation's. This is rot to >£$?.}'(_ \ I6B$9$ 
say thatthe improvement doesn't come at a *~** Sr\*"t^^ 
i price: triangles are now very standard in 3D ?• £&a £ 
modeling, so building models out of quadrilat- ''>tfi 
erals takes specialized software, and worse, «• 
when porting games, all triangle models need to be 
redone as quadrilateral models (note that this is not a V; 
problem going in the other 'direction, since each quadri- j s 
lateral could simply be split up into two triangles). \m 



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IHEMiSlERiOFWEHlSSMPOLHOtt 

A substantial number of console games suffer at least to some extent 
from polygons appearing to periodically flicker out of existence. There 
are three primary causes of polygon dropout. The first is due to the fact 
that the Saturn and Playstation don't use a z-buffer, which means that 
each polygon is automatically drawn over everything currently on the 
screen, so each frame has to sort all the polygons into furthest-to-clos- 
est order. If done properly, this means that everything is drawn as it 
should be, but if a further polygon is drawn after a closer one, it will 
cover it, thereby making the closer polygon disappear. For instance, this 
is what causes polygons to disappear occasionally in characters in 
fighting games. 

The Nintendo&4 avoids this problem with the use of a z-buffer, but 
ironically, this is also what causes the second problem. Although it is 
rarer, it does come up when two polygons are very close to one anoth- 
er, such as a shadow on the ground, or artwork on a wall. Using sorting, 
it is easy to simply always draw the shadow or artwork after the under- 
lying surface, but the only approach using z-buffering is to place the 
shadow or artwork slightly closer, while keeping the difference small 
enough to avoid any visible gap. Sometimes the z-buffer isn't accurate 
enough for this to work, 
and this can cause the 
overlying polygon to flick- 
er or disappear. 

The last problem could 
loosely be thought of as a 
clipping problem. Clipping 
is the process of dealing 
with polygons which are 
only partly on the screen, 
and all three consoles are subject to occasionally mistakenly assuming 
such polygons aren't actually visible, and not drawing them. This can 
sometimes cause polygons which are mostly off the screen to simply 
disappear, and can often have dramatic effect, particularly when the 
disappearing polygon is part of a wall behind which no one was ever 
intended to see. 




CQMIHGAPAR1 ATM SEAMS 



A problem unique to the Playstation is seams between polygons. 
While a certain amount can be done in specific cases to hide seams, 
they are essentially unavoidable. The reason for this is depressingly 
simple: when the Playstation was designed, the part of the hardware 
that actually drew polygons was designed to only use numbers of a cer- 
tain, very minimal accuracy, so that simple errors in rounding numbers 
off can move a polygon edge by a critical pixel, leaving an unsightly gap 
between it and the adjacent one. The problem can be avoided to some 

extent by, among other 
things, putting the poly- 
gons in front of a back- 
ground of a similar color, 
so that seams aren't as 
obvious, but ultimately the 
problem is enshrined so 
deeply in hardware that 
there is nothing that can 
feasibly be done to avoid it 
in all cases. 




i ■ k •• » • • » • ■ • . • • •■••■•• *•• 

■ * •••••-. ..-•■■-•-.■■ • . • m •■••■ 

i W^r- • * * " * * "-" ••■••••••■ * • ■_• M > • "» , • 

CAR0B0AR0 CHARACTERS 

The lack of lighting effects on the Saturn, which tends to make objects 
look substantially flatter than they otherwise would, has long been a 
subject of discussion and debate. Contrary to some rumors, the Saturn 
does have hardware support for Gouraud lighting, but there are very 
concrete reasons why it is used so rarely. First, the Playstation uses 
"multiplicative" lighting, while the Saturn uses "additive" lighting. What 
this means is that they both calculate a separate number between o and 
1 for the color of the object and the color of the light, but the Playstation 
multiplies them together for the' final result, while the Saturn adds them 
(actually, of course, there are three numbers to each color, one each for 
red, green, and blue). Multiplicative lighting is generally easier for devel- 
opers to work with, since additive lighting makes it very easy for texture 
colors to get washed out. One important caveat is that very dramatic 
lighting (such as that in Saturn Quake) is easier with additive lighting, 
since, for example, a pure red light shining on a pure blue wall produces 
purple with additive lighting, while it would produce black with multi- 
plicative lighting. In fact, higher-end systems usually use a composite of. 
the two approaches to calculate lighting. 

Another, simpler reason why developers often avoid using Gouraud 
lighting, is that, as with the 
Playstation, Gouraud lighting 
is substantially more computa- 
tional than no lighting (which is 
why Fighters' Megamix had to 
be lower resolution than Virtua 
Fighter 2), but as the Saturn 
has less 3D muscle than the 
Playstation, the extra power is 
more sorely missed, and often 

developers aren't willing to sacrifice the resolution or detail level neces- 
sary to include lighting effects in a Saturn game. 

SCREEN DOORS ARE EVER WHERE 

Another frequently remarked upon drawback of the Saturn is its lack 
of true transparencies, resulting in a number of games using unsightly 
"screen-door transparencies," where a polygon is made pseudo-trans- 
parent by only drawing every other pixel of it. It is in fact correct that the 
Saturn does not have hardware support for arbitrary polygon trans- 
parencies, but the situation is confused by some games actually manag- 
ing to include some true transparencies. Some games even use both real 
and screen-door transparencies, such as Panzer Dragoon Zwei, with true 
transparent water in one level, but screen-door transparencies else- 
where, including most 
smoke effects and the sun- 
beams in the forest level. 
The reason that some Saturn 
games are able to use trans- 
parencies is not that they 
avoid hardware limitations 
by rendering in software; 
rather, they take advantage 
of a special feature of the 

Saturn's VPD2 coprocessor, which is intended to draw backgrounds, 
treating them more or less as large flat 3D objects, and is capable of 
drawing them to be transparent. Hence, the water in Panzer Dragoon 
Zwei is simply a transparent "background" which is rendered by the 
VPD2 chip (all other polygons are rendered by the VPDi chip). In fact, 
such backgrounds are also drawn perspective correct, which is why 
Saturn fighters have perspective correct floors, while Playstation floors 
tend to suffer noticeably from texture warping. 





Brian Osserman is 
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page 18 | • developer squareso 



■ - andering out of the E3 Squaresoft/EA press 
conference having just witnessed the first real 

ation of what to expect from Final Fantasy VIII, I 

was struck by two realizations: Square need some 
new video projectors (the actual press meeting was 
twice as long as it could have been due to technical 
" Ities, leaving 100 sweaty journalists gibbering 
footage stalled and 
■ i-tf)en sound- 
ning teanji con- 
sists and animators 
1. For you see, despite 
...nical hiccups, the actua' 
onstration of the game's C( 



sequences and real-time 








provided evidence Deyona a 
hadow of a doubt of the theatri- 
cs 1999 



m rna 



ial pre-rendered magfc 
anied by.-, a grandiose 
orchestral score) -showed | mas- 
sive buildings stretching into the 



I around rocks, the new hero of the game (a 
_ _een year old Leonardo Dicaprio lookalike by 
the name of Squall Leonhart) standing astride his 
vessel and embarking on a journey to a far-off land, 
various other characters gashing out of explosions, 
and finally an indication of the expected battles and 
real-time graphics [■ combat between Squall, a cou - '- 

form of an Ice Dragon. After slotting my jaw back m 
place, I realized a number of key points which fans of 
the series should applaud: The characters are more 
' "nized, now appealing to all video gamers, but 
ain that Square magic of the FFVII folk. Al~ 
iraud shading of the polygonal charactf" 
gone, replaced with fullytextured clothing an 
parts, thus adding immeasurably to the realisn 
experience. ^Producer Hironobu Sakaguchi coi 
to "feel that the PlayStation's capabilif 
been fully explored, and even mor 
coupled with more realistic character interaction (no 
super-deformed party members when investigating 
pre-rendered backdrops, and every party member 






Greater realism in the characters and backgrounds enhances its movie-like Qualities 



^IIMIimllllhllHh VllH WIISV MIIlr 

II 



Elsewhere, you can view the tremen- 
dous detail present in every pre-ren- 
dered background currently being 



I by Square artists. It 
I rhat the character getup is a little 
; more contemporary... some might t 
even suggest "hip. " 





Again, the "Victorian-Industrial" backdrops create an uneasy reality for a fantastic set- 
ting. NoteAhe oil lamps, 1930s style motor vehicles and futuristic machinery. 



In epicjvtifw Wresme nature and, the heart of humanity.. 



"™ n the screen at^alt times) seem to be 
.hese.untapped'playStation qualities. 
" ■ ries'.-ffNTlH is a fully self-con- 
tained adventUre-"an'b'' World with no continuation 
frorrl OTW, and stars an alt-new cast, with the possi- 
bility ofcertain characters returning for a walk-on and 
non-playable appearance; Cid, for example, has been 
roaming the Fflands since FFII. Of the two characters 
we do know^bout, both inhabit different worlds, and 
.**much of the plot involves these two worlds aligning. 
■ Tetsuy^ 'Nomura of Parasite Eve character creation 
4, JfameVl'ndldSd both Squall Leonhart and Laguna Loire, 



and we're reckoning that SqJi 

Like Cloud, Squall is an. ex-s 

proachable (read: antisori; " 

Squall looks older than! 

from previous activities for vario 

organizations. Meanwhile, Laguana s> 

tie more congenial, springing into au.ui 

justice and mercy. Laguna's'lead an extraordinary life 

as well, hence his retirement from the military at age 

27, but his sense of camaraderie gains him many fans 



Continued over the page 



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II 




. ■ HfeTfL,' I 

We're also begin ling to gather snippets of informa- 
tion on the FFVIII uorld itself. The array of buildings 
constructed near to ttie»ocean,| in the sky and in 
forests seem to e\(oke a theme of contrast between 
nature and man-made structures. The two forces 
seem posed for conflict, echoing the environ 
problems of the world today. £>r at lr" ' 
k e press in Japanireck" 1 
t some FFVDK' ' 



^mmWi\ 








tling foes, and the ones that do, wield outrageously 
large swords such as the Gunblade. There's no offi- d 
cial word on the names of the three different Js 
entities you see engaged in»battle, but it has jy 
been stated that there's a load ' more / 
Summoning spells to try out; after defeat- / 
ing certain beasts, you'll be able to' sum- / 
i. We re also expecting enhanced , 
' Efreet, Shiva, Odfe, Baha 
an t 



PP^^^^I 







tigunRjAire,amvsl& 

Notice the incredible details that ;&■-" 
Square are famous for, such as all >V 
manner of fish and marine decora- 
tion, whereas the Gas Station is y. 
summed up in one word... "quaint." 9 
Also, in this world, it looks like 
everyone drives a new VW Beetle... 



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my their froth of Hole Pfayinf games diversely hot and spicy, 

re also intend to MmLMlJligMMmnLsIa^ 






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an RPG involving intricate (yet devastatingly 
large) mechs known as "Gears. " Remarkable 
iD polygonal environments can be manipulat- 
ed (you can use 'the camera to fully swing 
wound your cluirac(er, Grandiu style), and 
excellent sprite-based characters act with 
coinnrehensive fluidity, especially in combat, 
j utilizes combo attacks, which turn 
'ong and frantic series of button flicking 
cr into the gome (pnd a more simplified 
on of Ihis combat with the Gears them- 
selves). Add to the mixture some 
Z'excellenr t ut-sceq^ to seg&e a 
1 rackingiyrtjoocf •stdry, which is 
only deducted by slightly dreary 
landscapes and eventually tire- 
some battles, and you have , 
another top notch addition to the • 
Sguaresoft RPG fftn\i\y. look for 
an October release?. \ 




I*?™ 



.***s 



Was 






til 



1999's best-selling game? Well, according to Tomoyuki 
Takechi, President) of Square Co., Ltd, prepare to 
receive previews pf Final Fantasy VIII, Xenogears, 
Bushido Blade2 apd Brave Fencer Musashiden in a 
pier CD contained with Parasite Eve (U.S. release - 
September). Also expect a much more playab 
sion of FFVIII attached to Brave Fenr~- 




U.S. release - Never 

""Ye Eve "pre 1 
And the big news' 



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hirting maelstrom whipped up 
by a terrifying entity is but a taste 
of the sumptuous battle royales to 
be played out. Note the increased 
details and fabulous lighting 
effects in the fights compared to 
those of FFVII. 



at a game to finish off the twentieth ce 

Summon gigantic beasts to crush and pummel! 




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Swirling plasma storms envelop 
almost the entire battle arenas as 
Squall battles are so impressive 
they'd be bosses in any other RPG! 

I Check the market shops behind the 
horse creature (pictured right) as 



ronments present this time. 



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' ■ ■ I 

"i. w sequel to mi's most innovative JU lighter Mds spelts 



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'•p. Bushidn Bladi 




Squaresoft has abolished the parry button in favor of clever defense 
and counter techniques. Attacks have to be gauged according to 
stance and position, like the original, but now mote emphasis has 
been placed on the fundamental strength behind each blow and its 

iffect on your opponent's weapon. Incredibly satisfying follow- 
hrough moves must be executed after knocking an opponent off- 
lalance, while your own defense depends largely on intelligent, sub- 
le changes to the flow of slashes and thrusts. All fighting is based on 
rontal and reverse attacks, involving straightforward blows or side 
ind overhead strikes using six historic Japanese weapons. Take the 

fight into the Story Mode and you'll I 1 

be swept into the story of two war- 

\ing clans, chronicled through , _^ 

f cut-scenes and loads of 
high-quality character dialogue. 
Bushido Blade 2 has received a num- 
"f accolades in the Japanese 
. Squaresoft hopes to enjoy the 
same response when the game 
makes its way here in November. 



<*f— * 






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this&ntire coll spelt in motion! 



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A vast majority of the running ch ema I viewed 
showed Squall and his wispy hair b mowing in the 
breeze, followed by a beach as .ault lead by ', 
strange hovercraft-like contraption: . 



.;,' "" ' 



,.e mit has begun... Square 
is se'tts deliver their finest 
hour... but Mtuntil 1999! 



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PSLy 




it also hopes to encapsulate the same fever- 
ish excitement. Much more of an action-ori- 
entated title (portions of the game had the 
hero, Musashi, running away from a large 
tumbling boulder, and the limited play area 
was guite reminiscent of Crash Bandicoot), 
this two-sworded, left-handed hero is on an 
nrttnn/r>,,? 7 \ a nnoct through various levels 
""usashi's main plan is to 
'orld, and in order i 



i 




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. a host of natural environments and (hope 
fully) gameplay approaching thatof Mario 64 , — _, 
(although the camerawork is choreo- 
graphed, according to^Sguare, leading us to 
assurlle Jjttmeplay in the style of Crash 2). 
When offftially released in November, this 
gatne also includes the first interactive demo 
of Final Fantasy VIII, thus ensuring the high- 
est of sales. 




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.... Size 7 7/16" (W) x 711/16" (H) x 3 

'•:: Weight - 4.4 lbs 
:; Main Specs CPU SH4 - RISC CPU with 128-bit graphics engine (200MHz, 
" 360 MIPS/1.4 GFLOPS) 

;;:; Graphics Chip - Power VR Second-Generation (over 3 million polygons 
per second) 

>••; Hardware Effects - bump mapping, Triangular/Quad Engine, Real-time 

## lighting, Fog Effects, Super sampling anti-aliasing, 

:*j Specular highlighting, Texture filtering, Bump mapping, Perspective cor- 
;: rection, Alpha blending, ARGB gouraud shading, MIP 

IjJ* mapping: point, bilinear, trilinear, anisotropic 

„., Sound Engine - Yamaha Super Intelligent Sound Processor (64-channel 

'■'•" AD PCM) 

RAM - 16MB (64-megabit SD-RAM x 2) of main system RAM, 8 MB of 

... VRAM, 2 MB for audio 

'"" Modem - V34 (33.6Kbps), V42 and MNP5 full support (US release will 

:::: likely be at 56k speeds) 

OS - Customized Microsoft Windows CE OS or Sega's custom OS 

I;;; Media - CD-ROM Drive - Maximum speed i2x Approx. 1 gig capacity 
Controller - Directional Control: Analog stick or standard digital pad. 
•• Action Buttons: 4 color coded buttons in the shape of a dia mond , two 
:; trigger buttons, start button 

::: VMS (Visual Memory System): Up to two PD^stfan be inserted in each 
controller. Is 

;:5: PDASpecs: Energy saving 8-bit CPUV*2l3K byte memory, 48x32 resolu- 
tion tCD screen, battery x 2, auto-dff function, PWM 1 sound chip /J=*n 

:«: Weight -45g <**i§ S> 

>.. '.' ™G*sr 




.:; 





■' ' ■■■■£. '.iV':. v-*,~y'W:t&*.", 







MaVic^H^eluxtiriousNew'Otdrri Hotel in Tokyo, 
;a officially .unveiled thetrjwxtjjijtjnsole to a 
aWoW^r^^fflF^eopTe. Although that 
doesn't sound like a very impressive showing, 
considering that they originally expected roughly 800 
attendees, it reveals the Sega seriously 
underestimated the level of excitement around their 
announcement. The eager crowd was an equal mix of 
press and developers, including renowned industry 
figures from companies such as Capcom, Konami, and 
of course, Warp. 

Under a beaming spotlight and flanked by gigantic 
TVs displaying the revered blue and white Sega logo, 
Sega's President, Mr. Shoichiro Irimajiri, officially 
unveiled the Dreamcast. Predictably, the immediate 
pic of discussion was the system's specifications 
nd technical capabilities, but it was also important 
ega focus on what will make the console a 
UyNjratifying experience for gamers. To do this, 
hey showcased a set of four comical videos 
specifically 'produced to explain that Dreamcast is a 
complex and powerful piece of hardware, but also 
very easy to use. 
After discussing the machine's specifications, the 
moved on to what everyone really wanted to 
ive demonstration of the system in action. Two 
emos, Iri-San and Tower of Babel, were shown, and 
both of them demonstrated real-time interactive 
environments running directly on the Dreamcast 
hardware (they were NOT running videos). But as 
impressive as they were, neither of them displayed 
near the full power of the system. 



SANS 

kShicbiro Irimajiri (Sega 

inter: 

jgoer: Ham Osnima (Sonic learn)' ' ■ 
rammer: labia WnM (Sonic.Team) 
tidibial Snsenisor: tticnaal Irias (Snltimage) 
Sog'misor: ftiji Ma (Sonic learn) 

,e rirst demo was simple and charming, yet 

^effective in demonstrating some of Dreamcasfe .<poy«erfiil 

'texture mapping prowess. Mr. Mizuguchi waVi'afkedjto 

.produce a unique demo that would make the president of 

_Sega animate authentically. The concept was. 'to not 

Tx ancentrate on the technology, but rather to illustrate what 

'V^an-'a mazing machine the Dreamcast is. '','■'•• 

- k « The*demo opened with Mr. Irimajiri's head lowering into a 

"- 3l>metropplis in the background. With a comical demeanor, 

*■ Sega's president breathed fire, looked around in amazement 

' at the effects around him, stretched his ear, and eventually 

blasted off into space with a convincing wink. Helping him 

were key members of the Sonic Team, which explains why at 

one point there was a model of Sonic running aro.und his 

head. 

In order to produce this demo, Sega used the 'same 
motion-capture technology that AM2 employs for arcade 
titles. They had additional help from Softimage as well. Even 
so, it took them a whole week of testing and experimenting 
to get the results right, leaving only two weeks to produce 
the rest of the demo. The final capture data arrived in the 
designer's hands a mere three days before the show! 

TOWER OF BABEL STAFF 

Director: Yu Suzuki (Head of AM2, Producer o! toe firms Fighter series) 
Besigoer: Manaou Xosonoki (Besigner for Panzer Bragoon series) 
Programmer: Jakasoi kndo (System R&D Section) 
er; Tomoaki Saito (System H&B Section) 




how 1 



Specifically produced to show the high quality, movie-like 
imagery that is possible on the Dreamcast, The Tower of 
Babei depicts a fly-by sequence through a stunning 
environment. Sega started work on the Monday of the week 
before the show and, after a mere ten days, had a final 
product. Mr. Suzuki handpicked top developers to assist in 
the project. 

During the three minute demo there were many visual 
effects, including some spectacular lighting, that showed off 
the system's powerful 3D abilities. The demo only used 
about 1 million polygons, but the Dreamcast is capable of 3 
to 3.5 million polygons; not even the Model 3 has been seen 
doing that. 

After the demonstrations, Sega invited everyone to a 
party featuring Japanese DJs interviewing famous 
developers and celebrities. Most importantly, though, on 
one side of the room there were 

two display cabinets with 

the mock-up versions of 

the Dreamcast hardware, 

on the other side there 

were two playable units 

(you couhd only see the 

controllers) available for 
one to test drivel"" 

;iv' *•*>■" 

'■'*, ^ ■ 









Sega } s new philosophy finds system specifications ^jjp 
imperative, but secondary to the game experience? 



SHTr^i 



Forget about Sega's past successes and failures. Forget about the 
absence of a real Sonic game since Sonic CD. Forget about the 
premature death of the Saturn in North America, just let it go; 
such topics are water under the bridge. Dreamcast (the name is derived 
from the words "dream" and "broadcast") is Sega's bright vision of the 
future of console gaming - a future in which technology is second 
nature and creative substance is the focus. A future where developers 
have the resources, tools, support and power to easily tackle modern 
programming challenges. A future that opens console gaming to true 
networking, allowing gamers to play arcade perfect games against each 
other from the comfort of home. A future that sounds too good to be 
true - but Sega thinks it will be true. 

Sega is counting on Dreamcast to reclaim their leadership in the 
Industry, but they have a lot to prove in the coming months. Particularly, 
they must reaffirm their ability to construct a worthy piece of hardware, 
attract a high-profile set of developers through excellent 3rd party 
development programs, produce exciting and original games, and of 
course find a price point that is acceptable to consumers. Aware that 
the daunting challenge that lies before them leaves little to no room for 
error, Sega knows that promises made must be kept, statements must 
be true, and satisfying the gamer must be a number-one priority. And 
from all of the information we have gathered over the past several 
weeks, whether directly from Sega, third parties, or the rumor mill, it is 
apparent that they are firmly on track. 

So let us take a peek into Sega's upcoming wonder machine and 
discover the new life it intends to breathe into console gaming. 

The 3D Dream Machine 

In a nutshell, Dreamcast will outshine everything that current PCs and 
most current arcade machines have to offer. If you have ever 
experienced Voodoo2 technology or are familiar with Sega's Model 3 
arcade games, then you should already understand just how impressive 
that statement is. The 128-bit processor is a customized version of 
Hitachi's SH-4 running at 200 MHz that has been fine-tuned to perform 
intensive 3D calculations. As a propellant to data transfer, Dreamcast 
utilizes a customized DMA bus, a method of data transfer that demands 
less CPU time than traditional transfer methods. The DMA controller 
carries orifthe actual transfer of data between -system memory and the . 






,;',',, 




CD, freeing the CPU for other tasks. As a result, Dreamcast's CPU is said 
to process 3D graphics four times faster than a Pentium II. 

For pure 3D graphics processing power, Sega chose to employ a 
customized version of NEC's PowerVR Second Generation technology. 
The chip promises to manipulate over 3 million polygons per second 
(although we doubt that is with effects turned on), which easily 
surpasses current console and arcade technology. Currently, a running 
version of Warp's D2 manipulates 1 million polygons per second with 
effects on. But perhaps just as intriguing is the fact that this same 
graphics technology is now used by three popular game platforms: PC, 
arcade, and now console. This means that multi-platform development 
will be less problematic than ever before and we will likely see a host of 
pixel-perfect arcade and PC ports. 

Dreamcast also supports an impressive array of advanced visual 
effects in hardware, some of which have never been seen in any game 
to date. Most of these effects have already been explained in our Tech 
Front articles: bump mapping (Voodoo2 requires it to be done in 
software), real-time lighting, volumetric fog effects, super sampling 
anti-aliasing, specular highlighting, and some impressive mip-mapping 
capabilities. One thing is for sure, there will be no need to worry about 
any of the polygon warping, mip-map pop-in, or the bizarre "moire" 
patterns that current consoles suffer from (again, see our Tech Front 
article for explanations). Essentially, the machine's "unmistakable look" 
when compared to today's consoles will be its lock of glitches. 
Impressed yet? 

Of course, all of the 3D processing power in the world would amount 
to nothing without adequate RAM. Dreamcast was originally announced 
as having 16MB of RAM, which had some of us outright concerned. What 
Sega did not initially detail was that the i6MB_te^r«5gcrt^Wa.ijable 
system RAM only. Dreamcast will _house-an~ additional .SM.B.of.'V'dep- 
RAM and 2MB of RAM as.,a-sound bjffer. Do-the math: This totalsNa 
whopping 26MB-0T-RAM, which-is -quite a bit beyond what anyon 
expected. As an example, the graphically intense PC game Unreal 
requires a miflifnum of 16MB of system RAM arid runs without a hitcl 
using an 8 Mej»Voodoo2. But considering that Dreamcast's refined chi 
set appears to outperform the current PC technology by a good margin, 
it is safe to assume that a translation, which is currently rumored to be 

aossibility, would perform as well, if not- better. ":■;' 









The Sound of Oreamcast 

The Yamaha sound chip in the Saturn is actually still the most powerful 
console sound chip available, but unfortunately its potential was never 
truly realized. Utilizing a dedicated Yamaha Super Intelligent Sound 
Processor, Dreamcast will benefit from twice the number of channels as 
Saturn (641845MHz vs 32@22MHz) and have four times the RAM buffer 
to work with. This should alleviate the common complaint among 
developers that the Saturn's sound buffer was too small. 
The Dreamcast will also feature real-time 3D sound that will equal the 
quality of today's best home theatre systems. This means that we 
should expect most games to employ surround sound technology. 



The choice is yours 

In yet another highly original and practical move, Dreamcast games will 
include the OS on each game disc. Although it may seem impractical, 
Sega's plan is for a good reason. The company is providing two 
separate operating systems to Dreamcast developers: a customized 
version of Windows CE or a lower level Sega OS for those who wish to 
push the system to its limits. The adapted version of Windows CE, which 
Sega and Microsoft apparently spent two years refining, has been 
stripped of unnecessary routines to focus strictly on gaming 
technologies and APIs such as Direct X; thus, it has a very small 
footprint. The Sega OS is a new, beefed-up version of what Sega 
console developers have been using over the past several years. 
Developers that want to push Dreamcast to the max will benefit greatly 
from using Sega's OS, as it provides lower level access to Dreamcast's 
chip set. Console developers that are more familiar with Sega's own 
lower level OS will have the power to delve deep within Dreamcast's 



unending capabilities. - '' '■"*«' [?"-"..P ■'■': ;•, "V';' ' .',«( fl» !"■;< -r ■,'/ ••■«'. 

But what is Just as interesting is-how the OS can now be upgraded 
without 'changing .the hardware - . '.Traditionally, console operating 
systems were stored in ROM [Read Only Memory) and making a change 
was simply out of the. question. lA'ny. bugs that existed at the time of 
manufacture were' there fpr< gojjff, which forced developers to 
begrudgingly work around them. With Dreamcast, if a bug is discovered 
or a feature is added, either ,OS can be upgraded as necessary and 
subsequently implemented. 

Your house and mine 

For the first time in the history of'consoles, a system will launch with a 
modem in the box. Although' to some this may not be such a big deal, 
for console owners who do not have a PC with a modem in house, it is 
a dream come true. Developed by Trisignal Communications, 
Dreamcast's modem technology will open up a new way of gaming for 
its audience. No longer wilt gamers be forced to wince at miniscule split 
screens or cringe at drops in frame rate and dramatic decreases in 
viewing horizons. As it currently stands, the modem will run at 
33.6Kbps, but rumor has it that because of the advanced state of the 
Internet in the US, Dreamcast will come packaged with a 56Kbs modem. 
Sega, realizing that technology is always growing, designed the modem 
to be modular. Therefore, as modem technology improves it is definite 
that we will see faster modems released for the Dreamcast in the future. 
Once again, this type of modularity marks a milestone in console design 
and proves that Sega is dedicated to keeping Dreamcast alive for a long 
time. 

Additionally, SegaSoft are positioning themselves as a committed 
provider of game servers for the Dreamcast gaming network. Borrowing ) [ 
from the experience of sister company SegaSoft and their wetl^ 
respected HEAT.NET, an internet gaming network for PCs, Sega already 
has enough leverage to ensure success from a technology viewpoint. 
Hopefully, developers other than Sega will take full advantage of this 
service and include multi-player network options in their games. 

More than meets the eye 

The Dreamcast game format is CD based, but unlike what was used for 
the Saturn and PlayStation, it will store data at a higher density, capable 
of holding approximately 1 GB of information (approximately 350 MB 
more than PS or Saturn). From what we have gathered, this new format 
will inherently have faster access time over traditional CDs. However, 
because the selected operating system must be on the disc itself and 
the exact footprints are not known, it is not yet clear as to how much 
actual space will be allocated for the games. 

An extension of the game 

The Dreamcast controller may look a lot like an amalgam of both the 
N64 controller and the Saturn's analog controller, but the technology 
that it presents is truly revolutionary. 

For the first time since the SMS, Sega has radically redesigned the way 
their stock controller looks and feels. The controller will be available in 



For the first time in the history of consoles, a system will laoneh with a modem in the box. 




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"When plugged into the Dream cast (the machine can accept 
up to 4 controllers), the PDA will allow players to access 
menus and various interfaces directly on the controller," 



casi 




biue, orange, green, yellow, or red. And although it is already known 
that the controller will work well with 3P games, its effectiveness across 
the board has yet to be judged. 

The controller will accept two VMSs (Visual Memory Systems) that 
also act as a portable 8-bit LCD game system, complete with an on- 
board controller. When plugged into the Dreamcast (the machine can 
accept up to 4 controllers), the PDA will allow players to access menus 
and various interfaces directly on the controller. This feature will be very 
useful in strategy or sports titles, as it will allow players to set up 
attacks or plays in total secrecy. The VMS units can also be linked 
together for easy data transfer between them, which allows players to 
share data without being plugged into the Dreamcast. 
Apparently, the PDA unit will be released earlier than the Dreamcast 
itself and come with an original game called "Collect Godzilla • Giant 
Monster Picture Book". The release is slated to coincide with Japan's 
opening day of the recent Godzilla movie on July 11. The game is really 
simple: you fight youropponent's monster, and ifyou win, you can steal 



their DNA and evolve your own monster. Sega hopes to sell it in the all 
the cinemas for about $25, but if the release is delayed, it will be sold 
in most local shops. It's rumored that when the Dreamcast is launched, 
a Godzilla game will be released that will read the data off the PDA and 
use it the game. 

But even more exciting is that Sega is apparently going to integrate 
this PDA technology with some of their future arcade games. This would 
effectively allow players to download scores, special moves or even 
hidden characters from an arcade game onto their own personal VMS, 
and then take it home and load the data onto their own Dreamcast 
game. Whether or not gamers wiil be able to upload data to arcade 
machines remains a mystery. 

Overall, the Dreamcast controller is an exciting new concept in 
controller technology that will likely be copied by other hardware 
manufacturers in the future. We can hardly wait to get our hands on the 
real thing. 



You know what we think. But what are the developers saying about Dreamcast? 

Vie asked some of the industry's top personalities, and this is what they said: 



Paul Lange, Lobotomy, Producer of Caesar's Palace: 

"We are very encouraged that Sega has created a system that allows for both 
speedy development using Windows CE and the flexibility to maximize 
performance through direct control of the hardware. The impressive system specs 
are only one indication of the Dreamcast's power, lust as with the Saturn, 
developers that make the effort to take advantage of all aspects of the system 
architecture will reap the rewards of the greatest possible performance. 
Technically, Dreamcast can crunch more polygons and store more textures than 
any other home system to date. Even games that use the high level operating 
system have the opportunity to create visuals previously unseen in the home 
market. The support of numerous graphical effects in hardware (including Bump 
Mapping), strong audio capabilities, the VMS module, and an infrastructure for 
server based on-line gaming round off a complete package that makes the 
hardware VERY attractive to Lobotomy." 

Dave Perry, Shiny Entertainment, President: 

"I am very impressed at 5ega trying to sneakily tap into the incredible 
programming talent that the PC world has. The support by Microsoft is indeed a 
very cunning move. When these programmers learn their way around the 
hardware, then just like on the Sony, you will see the true prowess of this great 
machine evolve. Sega certainly does have something to shout about this time. 
Finally we will actually have an arcade machine at home! By the way, we are trying 
to get everyone to call it "DC"." 

Jason Rubin, Naughty Dog: 

"Although I won't comment beyond the officially released information regarding 
the next Sega system, ! will say that Naughty Dog is extremely excited about the 
prospects of the new generation of 3D hardware. Certainly, we have been 
discussing artistic ideas and gametypes lately that are impossible to express on 
the current platforms. From the published speed of the graphic processor and CPU, 



to the addition of the "PDA" save card controller, Naughty Dog thinks that Sega is 
headed in the right direction. We are extremely excited about the system, as 
developers and also as game players." 

Peter Morawiec, Lead Designer I CFO, Luxoflux Corp: 

"The Dreamcast has got the specs and there is no question that Sega can come up 
with some incredible games. Unfortunately, Sega faces an uphill battle to reclaim 
the market share and developer support it once had. A few ports 
of its arcade properties aren't enough, no matter how good the conversion is. I 
think the Dreamcast will require a slew of exclusive, top-notch titles and some very 
creative marketing in order to beat Sony and Nintendo in the long 



Peter Jefferies, Lead Programmer - Paradox Development: 

At last, after several years, another jump ahead. Something powerful, new and 
exciting to explore. The PC was starting to get ahead with the new powerful cards, 
but here the consoles will reassert their place as a certainly more affordable 
alternative. I heard an artist saying he would not have to worry about the number 
of polygons anymore. I don't think this will ever happen, however, the Dreamcast 
takes a big step toward allowing more creativity without worrying about 
constraints." 

Olivier Goguel, Head of Research, Kalisto Entertainment: 

"In the past, developer's have always had to limit their console game designs 
because of their limited 3D capacity. Dreamcast, which utilizes the newest and 
most powerful PowerVR technology to date, shatters this barrier. PC performance 
at console prices is something all gamers have dreamed about for years. We are 
hoping to have our new game, K-Rally, ready for the Japanese' launch of, 
Dreamcast." «J»V\ . t'li ulyr.uY'f- f i4 tC\t\A trflVul 



W\ - .-.-.;•... ■.,.,s~jr*irtl*& 




.. 



■eamcast preview 






A Library of Dreams: 



It proves true with each console that 
games sell systems. Sometimes, one 
"killer app" is all it takes. Would the 
N64 have sold as well without Mario 
64? Would Sega have taken the 16-bit 
crown if they had never introduced 
Sonic? Would the PlayStation have 
taken the lead if it didn't have a strong 
starting lineup of games when it was 
released? Sega knows what the 
answers are, and with a 500 million 
dollar marketing budget, they are 
obviously preparing to release an 
impressive lineup of games at system 
launch. Although Sega is keeping quiet 
about officially announcing any titles 
until September, between third party 
developers and the amount of gossip 
circulating throughout the industry, 
we've managed to scrape up some 
early rumors. 

3D Sonic Game 

Probably the most important news for 
US Sega fans is that they are definitely 
planning a 3D Sonic game of sorts to 
coincide with the US hardware release. 
Many gamers and industry folk believe 
that if Sega had released a solid 3D 
Sonic game when the Saturn was first 
released in May of '95, it would still be 
on the market today in North America. 
Perhaps Dreamcast Sonic will do for 
Sega what Mario 64 did for Nintendo. 
Model2/Model3 Games 
It is only natural to assume that Sega 
will be porting over a slew of Model 3 
titles including VF3, Daytona 2, The 
Lost World, Sega Rally 2, Virtua Striker 
and Spike. But rumor has it that Sega 
will also be producing a collection of 



Other Rumored Releases: 



classic Model 2 titles including pixel 
perfect renditions of Vf2, House of the 
Dead, Lost Bronx, Virtual On and the 
Virtua Cop series. 
Resident Evil 4 

The fact that Yoshiki Okamato of 
Capcom has announced that they will 
be producing Resident Evil 4 for the 
Dreamcast is big news. One can only 
imagine the intense feeling of horror 
and gripping story line of Resident Evil 
being realized in a beautiful real-time 
environment. Although the title will not 
release until late 1999 or early 2000, 
this remains a very big win for Sega 
against Sony. 
Metropolis 

Bizzare Creations, the famous 
Psygnosis team who brought us 
Wipeout and Wipeout XL, are 
apparently working feverishly on a new 
racing game named Metropolis. 
Apparently, Kats Sato, the talented 
producer who brought us Clockwork 
Knight and the technically impressive 
Sonic R, is acting as the game's 
producer. 
K-Rally 

Apparently, Kalisto is producing a rally- 
style racing game for Dreamcast that 
will utilize the system's modem 
technology for some intense multi- 
player racing action. Just imagine the 
glorious feeling of racing a friend in an 
arcade quality game in your living 
room. Sounds too good for words. 
FPS Games 

Rumors continue to fly that Dreamcast 
will be receiving versions of Unreal and 
Quake II that will be compatible with 
PC games over the internet. 



SZByWirp 


dstsm SfBs 


htoliTMiByYmtiMtam 


Action Adventure - The only officially 


RPG - A set of short RPGs that will be 


Sports ■ Sega bought a minority share oF 


announced Dreamcast title as of now. D2 


available in monthly installments. 


Visual Concepts in November, 1997. 


will feature huge "white" worlds and a 




They occupy one of three seats on the 


deep story line. 


SF 3; Ssiml Imsicl By Cnnsm 


board. The rumored game is some kind 




Fighting - Might be a launch title. 


of NFL football title. 


Ilrneil By I fie Mijiiimei 






3D Shooter/Adventure - This beautiful, 


BlomfBylltiM 


Quia 2 By II 


atmospheric FPS game would be an ideal 


Action/Adventure - Rumored to be in 


First Person Shooting - Console owners 


candidate for Dreamcast. 


development and ready for launch in 


may finally have the chance to 




March *99. 


appreciate why PC gamers can't get 


SwieWBtSm 




enough of Quake. 


Platform - Probably Sega's most import 


Ism Imilt By tlmSsfi 




title. This one should be ready for the US 


3D Adventure - Rumored to be in 


Bui Simi StM By Cimu 


launch. 


development. 


Adventure/ RPG - lust imagine Ihis one. 


SwusrSssi 


Biymin23yWliM 


Sum B SstMl By IiimIVs Jilts 


Fighting ■ Arcade game for SEGA's Model 


3D Platform - rumored to be in 


Racing/ Adventure - Rumored but 


3 Step 2 


development. 


unconfirmed. 


Biymns 2 By Ss/i 


Ices [tie Bali/Ml Bf i/silsesi 


iimya By mmiu int 


Racing - Possibly a launch title. 


Adventure game based on the original 


Action/Adventure ■ Confirmed at their 




Genesis series. 


website! 


Hilly 2 By Stjt 






Racing - Arcade port in development now. 


Pvtstsliis 2 Bf imamy/Cnm 


Mm in SMln Br *' JBWuf 




First Person Shooting 


Arcade type shooter - Some incredible 


Siipn S! By Ssfi 




looking shots have been seen, but the 


Racing Arcade port 


Busy Ssily Bf Bon 

Platform 3D platform game 


game is unconfirmed. 


MM filtilei 3 By Stjt 




Mm/Ola By BUvn MM 


Fighting ■ Rumors are abound that VF3 is 


Bmc 2 By Fsi inmtOtt 


Racing ■ Apparently, Bizarre is working 


almost ready for both Dreamcast AND 


Platform - Croc II is rumored but 


on a new driving game that will feature 


Saturn. Whether the Saturn version will 


unconfirmed. 


beautiful cityscapes. 


ever be released is still a question. 


Missal) By Slimy 




Besileal till 4 By Cisastti 


Adventure - An impressive looking PC 




Classic Adventure Horror - This one is 


title that is a natural project for Shiny, 




BIG. 









Following Sega's successful unveiling of Dreamcast, Warp took center stage with 
the first official live demonstration of a Dreamcast game, D2. Held at the Tokyo 
International Forum on Saturday, May 22 the show was originally scheduled for 
5,000 people, but the attendance quickly swelled to 10,000. Because of this, Warp 
had to make a second showing (the first was at 4 o'clock, the second at 10 o'clock), 
but even so, there were thousands of people who didn't get to see it. To please the 
rest of the nation, the show was broadcast live to several large event halls with huge 
video monitors across Japan and to countless people on the Internet. 

"It was Warp's dream is to create a real story and a real world. I happily believe that 
this time Sega's Dreamcast can do this. And towards the end of this year we'll be able 
to present to you a beautiful white world. " Several times during the show, Kenji talked 
about the "emptiness of white". Looking at the shots and understanding the plot of 
the game reveals what he meant. 




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.S9" - 


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D2 opens in Canada, Christmas, 1999 when Laura awakes after her plane crashed in 
the mountains. She has no idea how the accident happened or where the rest of the 
passengers are. She is all-alone in a viscously cold "white" world. As she 
desperately searches for some sort of cover from the harsh environment, she 
encounters people who have been transformed into monsters and a horrifying story 
and tragic destiny begins to unfold. Other than the fact that Warp and Sega are very 
tight, Dreamcast was selected as the platform for D2 because of its ability to create 
the realistic 3D images that D2 attempts to 
depict. "This hardware enables the use of 
full color and shows the world of D2 in a 
quality never achieved before." Said Kenji Eno at the 
D2 Premiere party. "The realistic representation of 
nature is crucial to the game. When all the characters, 
background, screen information and performance 
effects are included, approximately one 
polygons are used on the screen simultaneously every 
second. In addition, a number of special effects 
are used to create a realistic CG that has never 
been seen before. Warp believes that for the 
first time that 'something' extra as well as the 
images is conveyed. This software is the first 
software that is able to express that 
'something'." 

A horrifying story and tragic destiny begins to unfold 

Warp is famous for their music and with the powerful sound chip housed within Dreamcast, one can only imagine what Kenji 
Eno has cooked up. "The music in D2 is based around the simple configuration of piano, cello and violin. Such music was chosen 
to convey both delicacy and the feeling of tension. For the shocking human drama that occurs in the 'white' world of the snowy 
mountains, the delicate sound of the piano, the heavier, rounded firm sound ofthe cello and the tension that can be conveyed by 

the violin were required." 

As the first game announced for the Dreamcast, D2 will also be one of 
the first Dreamcast experiences. Unlike the original D, the sequel will be 
played in a real-time 3D world. "More realistic action for players. This is 
the reason that we chose the genre of real-time action. Believing that 
players would want to 'freely' explore the 'outside world' of nature, we 
created D2. The presentation and techniques of D2 are complicated but 
playing it is going to be fun for all, just like D was." 

The original D was an engrossing adventure game with beautifully 
arranged music and highly-polished CG throughout, but it was limited in 
its linearity. D2 opens up the possibilities to no end. if Warp can produce 
a real-time game as atmospheric and terrifying as the original D, we are all 
D^CIP T I in for a real treat. Check out our next issue for an exclusive interview with 

Kenji Eno, and an exclusive report on the game. 








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■ Nintendo 64 I * Bern »««« • 



E3 '98, besides being in Atlanta (the city that 
makes it own sauce), was the best show I've 
been to since Chicago in '95. Besides the major 
announcement that 128-bit gaming is almost 
here (although it will be named Dreamcast and 
sport the Lawry's Seasoned Salt logo) the floor was riddled with 
good games on multiple platforms. No single system or format 
won big (although some of the voodoo 2 stuff hurt me) and 
there were lots of very pleasant surprises like: 1.) UBI Softs 
amazing lineup: Rayman 2, Tonic Trouble, Scars, and Buck 
Bumble. They have the 3D thing down with phenomenal 
engines. Seeing bonafide platform magic on PC was cherubic. 
2.) Acclaim: Shadow Man looked downright spellbinding, and 
Turok 2 is simply beyond belief. I honestly thought the music 
was being piped in from another source. You'll hear symphonic 
joy as you zoom in (way in) for the kill. Iguana are raising the 



Metal Gear 

Solid PlayStation 






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B. leiek 2 - HB4 
S. dime Utile ■ PC 
IB ItiB Oiegle - PS 



intendo actually had a presence this year. 
97's E3 proved that no amount of expensive 
Mario sculptures could hide a lack of software. Not 
so this year, as Nintendo commanded a massive 
stage brimming with quality and almost complete 
software. The star of Nintendo was obviously Zelda, and the 
stunning (not to mention a little sinister) graphics of Conker's 
Quest. Of course, I was more than a fittle impressed by Perfect 
Dark (with that rumored "FX" style chip halting the release of the 
Bulky Drive perhaps permanently). Elsewhere, Turok 2 showed 
just how far Nintendo's technology can be pushed (once the 
slightly framey gameplay is smoothed), but the majority of the 
show's third parties were exhibiting PlayStation-bound software. 
The first-person shooting genre was shockingly overpopulat- 
ed, with everyone utilizing frighteningly good-looking PC 3D 
acceleration to hammer their points home. Highlights including 
« 'a « j«eMC'.'^ t «\;5i ' writ* irm — 



Zelda 64 

Nintendo 64 



Getting smacked in the face with a humidity not 
felt since last year's E3, 1 braced myself for the 
^^. ^.^ chaos that is the " big, expensive trade show. " You 
tf^ can't help but feel like a mark walking into one of 
these things, every company doing their best to 
run their con job on you. So much money and sound and noise 
is expended trying to get your attention, you almost want noth- 
ing to do with any of it. I wish companies would realize that not 
every one suffers from some kind of attention deficit disorder. 
Still, when a game is good, no amount of hype can spoil it. The 
reverse is also true of course. 

Topping my list of standout titles is Zelda 64. After so much 
delay and so much anticipation, it was good to be, shall we say, 
not disappointed. Flawed hardware design or no, ! remain a fan 
of the truly unique feeling of a good Nintendo game, and Zelda 



bar on Nintendo 64 development. 3.) Working Designs are 
doing for the PlayStation what they did for the Saturn. 
Silhouette Mirage and Lunar the Silver Star are coming to the 
PlayStation! (can't be far behind). Justice file: Magic Knight 
Rayearth is on the way despite the Saturn's current status and 
will get the full WD treatment. 4.) I still haven't played Zelda. It 
was there in playable form, but I couldn't bring myself to play it 
in fear of having to rip it out of the machine and run like hell. 
5.) Wild 9 and EWJ 3D were actually playable at the Interplay 
stand. The 9's is outstanding and Jim actually looks OK in 3D. 
He's no longer made of paper. 6.) I didn't burst into flames 
once. 7.) Konami in general. 8.) There were so many babes run- 
ning around at the Eidos stand I forgot to look at their games. 
9.) Citizen Kabuto = transmogrification. 10.) SPICE, SPICE, 
SPICE! David Halverson 



B. Fail fieusi VIII 
9. UC 2 - PC 
IB. Sis ■ PC 



Duke Nukem Forever (200 different pairs of sunglasses for Duke 
to choose and polygon enemies with loads of character), Half- 
Life and Sin, with Romero's Daikatana looking a little bruised, 
battered and dated compared to the new upstarts. In compari- 
son, very few new fighting titles of any merit were shown; only 
Capcom remained enthusiastic about churning out their console 
bread and butter. 

Konami showed an excellent array of titles, including the 
potentially astronomically popular Silent Hill (the CG alone was 
enough to draw in crowds of astonished onlookers), and despite 
Eidos' usual outrageous attempts at advertising Miss Croft, 
Tomb Raider 3 wasn't attracting quite the drooling enthusiasm of 
past seasons. In the end however, one final thought could be 
drawn; this industry shows no signs of ever slowing down - and 
the quality of software continues to break the highest of stan- 
dards, as demanded by you. David Hodgson 



5. Paled B11I: - HS4 
S. Inkle ■ PC 



S, F-leie X ■ HB4 
9. Case 3 ■ PS 






had just that star quality and was quite beautiful in an N64 kind 
of way. I must also admit to being blown away by Rare's video of 
the "FX" chipped Perfect Dark. It looks like what you expected 
N64 games to look like before the mostly sad truth reared its ugly 
head. And Conker's also had a truly advanced appearance with 
one of the best looking free roaming 3D engines I've yet seen. 
Too bad it's about this goofy looking squirrel. In a similar vein, 
UbiSoft's Rayman 2 running in accelerated form on PC was sim- 
ply stunning with gorgeous environments and the kind of art 
quality applied to its textures normally reserved for 2D games. 
Of course, no wrap up would be complete without mention of 
some game called Metal Gear Solid. It looked alright, as did the 
jaw-dropping CG from Konami's other big title, Silent Hilt. Yet I 
came away from the show with the biggest thrill being the com- 
pletely positive buzz on Sega's Dreamcast. Mike Hobbs 



1 I 



->: 16*2 



page 35 j £3 special 


m 


. 





top ten e 




CJ^Z 






Silent Hill 

PlayStation 



For some, checking out Sega's booth at E3 this year 
was a rather dreary experience. Dated arcade titles 
sat like well-decorated tombstones, the Saturn was 
shown open casket (with superb titles like Burning 
Rangers and Panzer Dragoon Sago, it almost looked 
alive), and the overall demeanor was rather somber. The only attrac- 
tion on the floor that was truly fresh was Sega PC's lineup of arcade 
ports and original titles. KlWWV^jD 

But it was all an illusion, a devious facade aiming to fill both Sony 
and Nintendo with a false sense of security. And knowing them, they 
probably fell for it. 

The truth is, Sega rescued the show from being a huge disap- 
pointment by revealing the newest addition to their family behind 
closed doors: Dreamcast, which I fortunately got a glimpse of. What 
were my impressions? 



"Am I dreaming?" 1 asked myself as I leered in utter amazement 
at the demonstration of an untitled 3D shooter running on Sega's 
upcoming console. The footage on display equaled some of the 
highest quality CG sequences I have ever seen. It was flawless, 
seamless, beautiful, and just hard to imagine as an actual real-time 
environment. I almost felt as if we weren't ready for this technology; 
it was just too much power for us to handle. How could this system 
be affordable? With a cynical peer aimed at Neal Robinson, Sega's 
Director of Advanced Developer Support, I asked, "Are you telling 
me that this is an actual real-time engine running on Dreamcast?" 
His return was a vehement "absolutely." If Neal was correct, then 
Sega's next generation console will push console technology 
beyond everything - including arcade. If Neal was fibbing, then Sega 
will suffer the biggest PR disaster since George Bush said " Read my 
lips." Dave Re es 




1 Ray man 2 
• pp. nn-i 



PC CO-Rom 



Although most of my show was spent distributing 
new issues and recovering from parties, I had 
^ \t^ plenty of time to play the games which really caught 
^^J^*" my eye. These included Raymon 2, Spyro, and Drakan. 
Rayman 2, apart from its universally appealing graph- 
ics, was incredibly tight. The level design was almost perfect and the 
variety of gameplay styles, from swimming, to surprisingly fast- 
paced blasting, to racing, was constantly fun and wonderfully con- 
trollable. I know I'll be playing it again. Spyro, on the other hand, 
was an impressive showcase of the PS* seemingly unstoppable 
graphic prowess. The environments feel very solid, the resolution is 
crisp, and expansive levels can be seen far into the distance without 
clipping or frame rate chug. I like the character design too; very 
Japanesque, very cute. I'm told it's the first game created in the US 
with Japanese players specifically in mind. My all-time favorite 



games are Japanese-made... so I guess they're doing their job well! 
As for Drakan, it's undoubtedly the fantasy theme that captures my 
heart. I love dragons, I live for fantasy tales, and IVe read countless 
novels based-on mythos and magic. I'm also a huge fan of Team 
Andromeda's Dragoon series, and while Drakan lacks Panzer's stun- 
ning design and vision, its fantasy concept is ambitious and its pre- 
sentation is lush and inviting. Overall, though, the show was a little 
disappointing. There was nowhere near the excitement I felt last 
year. In fact, almost every developer I spoke to asked me the same 
question: "Did you see the Dreamcast?" Indeed. I'm one of the 
biggest Sega fans on the GR staff. I've enjoyed my time with all. their 
systems and I know their best developers better than most. I've 
always anxiously awaited the next Phantasy Star, Shining game, 
Sonic title, or Treasure masterpiece-in 8, 16, 32, and now, 128-bits. 
November 20th is so, so far away... Mike Griffin 



I; j 

T 



1 Silent Hill 

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After only one day at E3, 1 knew what it was like to 
be livestock, corralled into a stuffy room with a 
screaming mass of squirming bodies, all hot and 
sweaty fighting for personal space, sore and dehydrat- 
ed muscles begging for nourishment and getting noth- 
ing but slop. Understanding the hapless plight of those poor ani- 
mals nearly drove me to vegetarianism. But in remembering how 
tasty the free giant hotdogs and sloppy hamburger dip served in the 
luxury boxes at the Braves' game were the day before - compliments 
of an obsequious Sony- my conscience was effortlessly cleared. 

If anyone should be weighed down by a guilty conscience, it 
should be the companies and their shameless parade of titillating 
models, free alcohol, and lavish parties. These pleasant gestures of 
excessive good will were memorable diversions, yet the calculated 
attempts at grabbing my good faith only served to deflect attention 



away from the focus of the show - the games. 

Maybe the reason I was caught up in the fluff of E3 was due to the 
fact that the majority of the games seemingly warranted little more 
than fleeting glances. With Sega's vacuous Saturn presence leaving 
the company to work on PC titles and inflated Dreamcast promises, 
and Nintendo's usual dearth of titles on display, Sony was left to 
ostentatiously gobble up floor space with their usual glut of titles. I 
realize the maddening atmosphere of the show is horribly abrasive to 
a proper gaming stage, and for that 1 am not about to let my enthu- 
siasm for the next flow of software lie dormant; remembering experi- 
encing Zelda 64 for the first time as it was introduced by Mr. 
Miyamoto is all I need to fend off any looming apathy. And if Zelda 
would inexplicably fall short of my expectations when in its final 
form, there was a game called Silent Hill in Konami's booth that reaf- 
firms why I started playing games in the first place. Brady Fiechter 



fE3 special 

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Atlus has a great record of 
bringing over titles from Japan 
that find a place in the 
American market. Pictured 
below is the very interesting 
Trap Gunner, an overhead 
action game constructed 
entirely of polygons. TG has a 

Trap Gunner 




devilishly fun two player mode 
along with its Crackdown relat- 
ed visual style. Also on dis- 
play was Bomberman World, 
(rendered for the first time) 
which featured a five player 
battle mode and dual shock 
compatibility. 



Battletanx 

Aside from two unique PC to PS 
"ports" {Army Men and 
Uprising), and Battletanx, their 
first Nintendo 64 game, the 
3DO area concentrated on 
impressive looking PC titles 
such as Uprising 2 and 
Requiem. 



Requiem 





Acclaim did themselves proud with both the 
games you see here and the two we pulled 
out for focussed coverage: Shadow Man and 
Turok 2. Machines is an action and real-time 
strategy hybrid we are very excited about, and 
of course, Extreme G 2 needs no introduction. 
We found it not only more controllable then 
its predecessor but graphically superior and 
with better cameras. 

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Every now and then, you 
come across a game at E3 
that captivates you and 
demands your undivided 
attention until you've seen 
all it has to offer. Diablo II 
was one of those games. 
Expanding upon the original 
in every way, the game is, 
once again, an engrossing, 
atmospheric plight into a 
dark, bedeviled world. But 
this time, there is roughly 
four times more of every- 
thing. Four times the real 



Diablo e 

estate, challenge, and most 
importantly, fun. Although 
only one level was playable 
at the show, what was there 
was enough to reveal how 
the game intends to improve 
upon the first. The sprawling, 
no-load environments alone 
were of particular note, and 
unlike the rather static pre- 
decessor, the world was 
imbued with animated NPCs, 
running water, wildlife, and 
real-time lighting. 



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Gary Harrod, GR Art 
Director was amaz- 
ingly transformed 
into a polygonal 
nightmare anima- 
tion short. Using 
photographs, the 
Crave team created 
a short animation of 



GR STAFF TO BE INCLUDED AS CHARACTERS 
OF UPCOMING CRAVE RELEASE 

Harrod as a bosomed, scantily-clad travesty of nature trying 
out for the Spice Girls. Five Republic staff members will be 
included as hidden characters in Crave's Caesar's Palace 64 
for the Nintendo 64. 




WHO'S Astro 

Created by Player 1 (of 
Robotron X and Dead in the 
Water fame), Mito's Astro 
Lanes is set to deliver a 
bizarre cosmic bowling 
experience. The developers 
are especially proud of their 
wind-up technique, which 
involves madly rotating the 



Lanes 

PS analog stick to 
gather strength. Very cool. 
Shadow Madness is a vast 
RPG with six unique charac- 
ters, loads of maps, 
weapons, spectacular magic 
effects, and sub-games to 
break-up the action. Very 
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Also using the Gex engine was the voodoo 
themed adventure, Akuji which has improved 
dramatically since we last visited it. Gex: Enter 
the Gecko for the Nintendo 64 is nearing com- 
pletion as well. Will Kain 2 make its way to the 
N64?CD wasn't talkin'. 



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Trespasser was showcasing an 
incredible physics engine far and 
above any 3D game before it. Look 
elsewhere in this issue for a thor- 
ough preview. EA also had 
Populous 3D on display. This 
update has players running the 
world and its people in glorious 
spherical 3D, with new options tai- 
lor-made to take advantage of the new per- 
spective. Small Soldiers looked very cool. 
Based on characters from the upcoming 
Dreamworks film, SS offers intense 3D shoot- 
er action in one and two player modes and 
great animation and enemy A.I. Prax War is an 
advanced FPS game with a sophisticated, 3D 

accelerated-only engine. Its . __ 

modular engine will allow 
players the opportunity to 
create their own add-on 
games. In LAPD 2010, you 
patrol a futuristic LA in 
supercharged vehicles taking 
out gang leaders and rescu- 
ing hostages for the tax pay- 
ers. MotO Racer 2 will offer 
gorgeous accelerated graph- 
ics and an awesome new 3D 
track editor. 




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In addition to the gorgeo is yet 
highly similar OddwnrM 2 and the 
futuristic boarding game knnwn as 
Streak, GT were pumping out the 
PC titles like nobody's business. 
Riding high on the success of 
Unreal, there was a veritable del 
uge of PC first-person games utiliz- 
ing the Unreal engine. Top of the list 
was Wheel of Time, one of the few 
first-person titles to actual try 
something novel. WoT involves a 
much more tactical approach to 
gaming. Obviously, the graphics are 
stunning, but the objectives in the 
game leave so much more room for 
enjoyment. From a list of spells, 
your wizened warlock struts about 

Dufie HuHem TTK 




E3 special 




Jim feels pretty groovy in 3D now that he's been inflated to polygo- 
nal stature. As you can see, cows have not lost there place in his 
twisted little wormy mind, nor have undead Elvis impersonator's. 
EWJ 3D is coming together. Elsewhere, Citizen Kabuto, the first 
game from former MDK mates, Planet Moon, was absolutely 
groundbreaking in terms of both graphics and game play. We blew 

Earthworm Jim 3D 




out Messiah (ooh that baby is nasty) and The Wild 9 last issue so, we 
hope you caught them. (If not, back issues are available!) With any 
luck, we'll review the Wild 9 in the next issue and we continue to hold 
a vigil for playable versions of EWJ 3D (preferably accelerated) and 
Messiah. I'd like to get my hands on it before Shiny gets overrun by 
the religious right-wing. 




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Although Konami's Metal Gear Solid was limited to a mere video last year, it ended up being the game 
that everyone talked about all year. At this year's show, NIGS was finally playable and undoubtedly 
unmatched, but there was one title on display that took us all by surprise in a big way: Silent Hilt. Playing 
the game was close to a spiritual experience, and watching the wonderfully ethereal CG scenes depicting the 
mysterious plot was a hair raising moment. For this reason, many of us voted Silent Hill as 
game of the show. Konami had many other quality titles on display, none more curious than 
Castlevania 64. Although the game was looking good, some of the character designs, such as 
a skeleton riding a Harley, looked out of place. Hybrid Heaven also looked interesting and 
warranted a few double takes with some impressive visuals and unique play mechanics. 





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LucasArt5 had a strong showing this year with Indiana tones leading the assault. Built around the Jedi Knight engine, this all new action 
adventure pits Dr. Jones against Soviet agents who have shown an unhealthy interest in the famed Tower of Babel. Next was LucasArt's ambi- 
tious take on the ever expanding RTS genre with Force Commander, the first fully 3D game of its kind. Grim Fandango from the designer of 
Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle was trademark imaginative LucasArts adventure. Finally, Rogue Squadron for the N64 looked stiff. 

Force Commander Rogue Squadron 



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RC Copter 




Along with the good N64 arcade conversions we would expect from 
Midway, they had two of the coolest games of the show -Jackie Chan and 
RC Copter. Jackie Chan was a great twist on Final Fight-style gameplay, 
where you run through 3D areas (similar to One) and fight off baddies 
using Jackie's famous "comedy" martial arts style, complete with apolo- 
gies! Midway motion cap- 
tured over 400 of Jackie's 
moves and mannerisms for 
this title; finally someone 
is putting this technology 
to good use. RC Copter is 
the much touted "realistic" 
simulation that Shiny has 
been developing since last 
year, and it is blast to play. 

Rush 2 




Having just released the monumentally selling Tekken 3, Namco didn't really need an all-star line up for this year's E3 bash, which is just 
as well: They didn't have one. Most of the stand was taken up with "gold" versions of their previous PlayStation hits, there was a quad- 
rant or two of re/c/cen 3 arcade machines, the invasion of Japan's best T3 players (who regularly received a pummelingby AlexValle, Tekken 
3's uncrowned champion), and little else. An almost-complete Soul Caliber was shown (playing similarly to the first but with gob-smack- 
ing mo-cap characters and some great new players), but Namco'smain push was Pac-Man 3D. Following the laughable version of the game 
shown at last year's E3, Namco has now given the game a superb Klonoa-Wke. atmosphere, added a few bells, whistles, fruit, and ghosts 
and created what looks to be a thoroughly entertaining platformer. PaC-fflan 3D 





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Nintendo certainly do know how to put on a show - and a party. The B-52's rocked the house (if you could 
find a taxi driver who knew how to get there) at the Nintendo bash. While on the show floor Miyamoto was on 
hand (as you can see we took full advantage) for feedback on his latest masterpiece. The Game Boy received 
a much appreciated 56 color face lift, and Poke'mon peeked out for the first time on American soil 




Mr. Miyamoto on the show floor... One of the most anticipated Nintendo titles ever, Zelda 
64 attracted a huge crowd even before the show doors officially opened on Thursday morn- 
ing. If the game itself wasn't enough of an experience, we had the pleasure to meet and speak 
with Mr. Miyamoto. He was carefully watching our initial reactions, and was gracious enough 
■| to give us pointers and express his thoughts on the game. "Zelda is about 95% complete right 
now, although 70% has complete data. I am still balancing all of the stages," said Miyamoto. 
He also revealed more about Zelda in the 6481! world. "I wanted to create a special world for 
Zelda, a special feeling of 3D like Super Mario. This is the same world as the previous Zelda series, 
although this time I put emphasis on atmosphere and temperature. This is the challenge oF 3D." We also 
asked how Zelda plays compared to previous incarnations. Mr. Miyamoto replied, "Everything is the same 
although the player must learn how to use those skills in this new 3D world. 
It is difficult at first, you must be patient!" 




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Psygnosis always show up with both barrels loaded, but this year they out did themselves. How can one 
publisher possibly maintain such a vast assortment of titles? Psygnosis obviously does it by scrutinizing by 
genre. They've covered all the bases, with assorted shooters and racers , real time strategy, realistic simula- 
tions, 3D action, and even some electric boogaloo courtesy of the foursome that everybody pretends to hate 
but secretly desires... the Spice Girls. How can anyone not dig four millionaire babes that wear next to noth- 
ing all the time? Psygnosis also announced their first Nintendo 64 game, Wipeout 64. The version playable at 
the show looked early, but the final promises a smooth 4-player option along with enhanced visuals. For those 
of you waiting for someone to create an accelerated PC adventure/shooter with a 3rd person camera that's 
more than an after thought, ODT is set to deliver. At the top of the PC scale, however, sits the inspired Drakan, 
which takes me back to "Tama," an episode from the animated feature, Heavy Metal. Everything Psygnosis 
displayed showed merit - quite a feat for such a vast array. 









Space Circus 

Ocean may not have the greatest 
track record, and they seem to 
realize the need for change with 
N64 and PC versions of Space 
Circus. More than 10 characters 
and 50,000 polygons can be dis- 
played at once, creating a stun- 
ning cartoon environment; it's 
about time the PC got these types of games. 
Ocean's other standout game was Outcast on PC, an 
interesting mix of combat, strategy and real-time adventure set in nat- 
ural, real life landscapes. Definitely unique. 



If ya' wanna bf my' lover, ya' gotta' buy my game.. 






m seqa 

Don't be fooled by the Dreamcast logo to the right 
- Sega's booth unfortunately didn't showcase their 
upcoming system... too bad. What Sega did have, 
however, wasn't too shabby. Apparently focusing 
on PC until the release of the Dreamcast (see arti- 
cle on page 25 for more info), Sega's area was 
showered with more than enough titles to keep us 
PC owners happy for a while. Arcade conversions 
were rampant, most notably the very early but still 



Sega Rallu a PC 



great-looking conversion of Sega Rally 2. The first 
conversion of a Model 3 title was accompanied by 
an impressive House of the Dead (featuring spot- 
on mouse shooting control) and Sonic R. Sega also 
used this space to show off their two original PC 
titles, Conflict of Nations (shown last issue) and 
Yoot's Tower, a follow-up of sorts to Sim Tower. The 
only Saturn titles shown, like Shining Force III, 
should be out by the time you read this. 

House of the Dead PC 




Yoot's Tower Conflict of nations Dreamcast Pics 






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Sony once again constructed a small city within the convention center confines, includ- 
ing dedicated areas for big guns Crash 3: Warped, Naughty Dog's third (and more spectacular 
than ever Bandicoot blast), and Insomniac's Spyro the Dragon, a free-roaming action adventure 
starring the coolest little dragon you could possibly imagine, voiced by the Taco Bell Chihuahua 
(or at least the guy who plays him, er, it). Spyro's 3D engine is among the best we've seen and 
the gameplay is there to match with Mark Cerny overseeing every last scale. As for Crash, well, 
expect the unexpected: free-roaming levels including Coco on a Jet-Ski will add to the already 
more diverse gameplay. Besides these two gems, Sony would have been wise to surround 
Medievil with similar fanfare. The lanky Dirk-like lead character scampering around amazingly 
textured and lit bone yards and other spook zones looked and played amazingly. 
989's Cool Boarders 3, completely redesigned by a new team, looked ready to shred, as did 
Rally Cross 2. Twisted Metal 3, though early, has been beefed up for '98 as well. Look for the 
complete scoop on 989 Studios in the September issue. Oh, and, uh, welcome, Marci! 




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E3 special 



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With Rayman 2 and Tonic Trouble, Ubisoft are combining the magic of console gaming wit 

the lush visuals of Voodoo 2 acceleration. Both games are stunning in their own right. Four 

out of five GR editors that play platformers chose Rayman 2 for their E3 top-10. In the racing 

category, 5CAR5 especially stood out in the crowd with a sort of 3D Moon Patrol style of play 

and some of the prettiest and widest courses seen on either PC or PlayStation. On the N64, 

besides Rayman 2 and Tonic Trouble, Buck Bumble is not only a totally fresh concept, but 

also an extremely well produced game in every facet. It's born and bred for the N64, and 

looks it. Contrary to our overly joke-riddled text last month, Alex Builds His Farm is part of 

a series of Voodoo accelerated kids games that are actually extremely impressive. 








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Yes, it's Command and Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun. In this hyper-anticipated sequel, 

Westwood plans to unveil the reasons behind the surge of Tiberium across the 

planet. The engine is new and play mechanics have been improved to allow more 

mass movement of troops and weapons with less effort. The battlefield is fully -<H^MK- u 

reactive to all activity, and each environment offers multiple levels and terrain. Destructive new weapons include the Devil's Tongue, Jump-Jet 

infantry forces, cyborgs, and Hunter-Seeker Drones. Also on display was Thrill Kill, a brutal, four player 3D fighter. Developed by the talenti 

Paradox team, this intense combo and blood heavy fighter 



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By Dave Halyerson 




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While I wait patiently for a 64-bit Bank's 
Adventure or Adventure Island, Hudson's love 
affair with Bomberman continues to blossom. 
Barely one year after the first mildly explosive 
Bomberman adventure snuck its way onto 
American soil, Hudson (via Nintendo) is about to 
roll another bomb on to store shelves. Unlike last 
year's incarnation, Bomberman for '98 is a pure 
action-adventure devoid of battle scenarios - the 
series claim to fame. Conventional wisdom would 
say that Hudson discarded said levels to dedicate 
more memory to the game itself, allowing more 
space for a beefed up engine or perhaps more 
vastness in the levels. Surprisingly, however, 
Bomberman Hero's graphics are about on par 
with last years model and the levels them selves 
are shorter, although more numerous. H-core 
fans are in luck, however, because what 
Bomberman Hero lacks in graphic prowess it 
makes up for in play mechanics, diversity, and 
music. Besides ample doses of platform action, 
there are exploration & puzzle elements, vertical 
repelling, a peculiar mammal to ride, and four all 
new (and very welcome) morphs: jet, aqua, snow- 
board, a. d propeller-head. The level structure is 




quite varied as well, ranging from funky back- 
grounds amidst polygonal armature to free roam- 
ing tunnels, polygonal side scrolling, and vertical 
descents. An N64 rarity, the music (a selected 
number of tracks in repetition) is excellent in lieu 
of the systems mind boggling lack of a dedicated 
sound chip. The action takes place across six 
planets, each featuring a set of like levels, and, of 
course, a final (and usually impressive) guardian. 

Be that as it may, in comparison to similar N64 
fare such as Banjo Kazooie and SM64, 
Bomberman Hero pales somewhat. If you're of 
the mindset that games are supposed to get bet- 
ter as a system evolves then be warned: 
Bomberman Hero is strictly first generation in 
terms of technology. There are effects such as 
reflections, transparencies, color cycling and ani- 
mated fluids (although these often suffer choppy 
frame rates), but we've come to expect all of this 
from the N64. In terms of fun, Bomberman Hero 
hits the mark, although it's definitely on the easy 
side. 

Bomberman Hero is a good game. I recommend 
it especially to younger or novice gamers, as it's 
quick to pick up and quite forgiving in terms of 
difficulty. Also bare in mind that this preview is 
brought to you courtesy of the import version; 
there's always the chance that Nintendo of 
America will add some bang 
of their own. Find out 
when we review the US 
version in an upcoming 
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cleansed from all evil from the 
beginning of time. In order to 
understand peace, there must 
exist conflict. To feel joy, one must experience suffer- 
ing. As the story is told in Kartia, peace did indeed exist 
for centuries in the land of Rebus, blanketing its people 
in a heavenly calm. Fed from the magical text on cards 
of fire, wind, earth, and water, its people were given a 
glorious existence before the ubiquitous tranquility 
led to corruption and war. 

Through this provocative story, opposing factions are 
looking to regain the cards and, ultimately, the means 
to create a new Eden, to create life, to find God. These 
magical cards of conflict are called Kartia, and they 
become the nucleus of Atlus' fine strategy RPG. The 

cards create weapons, armor, and cast over 150 spells 

j that not only take out enemies, but also freeze rivers and 

m incinerate trees and other environmental objects - not a 

huge boost in the strategic level of the game, but a nice 

1^ touch nonetheless. 

A joint effort between Amano Yoshitaka, the character 
designer of the Final Fantasy games, and Cozi Okada, 
the creator of Persona, Soul Hackers, and the Megami 
Tensei series, Kartia embodies a pleasant look and 
feel, reminiscent of ethereal RPGs of the i6bit 
days. The graphics are undeniably simplistic, beg- 
ging for more character animation and environmen- 
tal touch-ups, but the wonderful sense of style and 
ambience make us forget about the need for fancy 1 
embellishments. Kartia is a subtle 
reminder of how the tittle things in a 
game, the understated intrica- 
cies that creep up and whis- 
their presence, mean so 





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Other facts? Humanoid enemies crumple to the 
ground in exactly the same manner as they did in 
Goldeneye, there's a severe lack of blood oozing 
from wounded foes' orifices, Joanna can mount a 
futuristic hoverbike and zip around the 'military 
installation' style levels, and there's even Alien 
Greys to cull! Yep, bulbous-headed pallid folk from 
Alpha Centuri get the rough end of the stick; you'll 
be either splattering their craniums or stealing 
stretcher-laden aliens from experiments beyond 
the comprehensions of man. Joanna also uses her | 
phaser-style pistol to great effect; she can zoom in 
on enemies (cue the on-screen homing targeting 
system), and she can also hold them up to the 
head, covering the screen and providing a shield. 
Add ray-tracing, 3D Surround Sound, dynamic 
lighting, particle effects on the explosions, dust 
and steam, plus an over abundance of lens Hare 
and a logo using the same font as Metal Gear Solid, 
and you're on to another multi-million dollar selling 
Nintendo title. ® 



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)ayman 2 turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of 

. the show, impressing the entire GR staff - not an easy 
task given our diverse tastes. A beautifully lush 3D 
platformer, Rayman 2's stylistic cartoon environments and 
innovative play mechanics combine to create a very console-like 
experience, on PC. French speaking fan Mike Griffin talked to the man behind 
Rayman 2 on the final day of the show. A full preview by platforming afficionado 
Dave Halverson will follow next issue. 



Interview with Michel Ansel, Creator of Rayman and Team Leader 
on Rayman 2... on the E3 show floor 



How easy was It to go from two dimensions to 
three dimensions with Rayman? 

We've been working with 3D for some time 

now, so it wasn't that hard. The visuals weren't 

difficult to translate, and then all we had to do 

was find the right "feeling". It was very 

important to test in 3D to find out what works 

best and if it could function in this type of 

game. The best sensations are felt by flying 

and swimming, making big jumps, or having a 

very deep sense, when in a canyon for 

example, looking way, way down. 

How about the differences In control? 

Well, in fact, if you put the camera in just the 

right position, you'll notice it's the exact same 

control as Rayman. The character transcends 

both dimensions. You can jump, you can fly, 

just like the first game, and now you can use 

objects to fly. 

When did the project begin? 

September '97. Everything started then, even 

the engine was ready to go. 

Rayman 2 looks like a real-time cartoon. How 

did you achieve this image quality? 

The same graphic artists that worked on 

Rayman worked on Rayman 2. Exactly the 

same team. For animation, for graphics, 

everything. 

Have team members worked on any 3D games 

prior to Rayman 2? 

Yes, Tonic Trouble. We worked on just the first 

few levels, and then a new graphic arts team 

took over. We didn't finish the game. 

/ tell him flat out that I think Rayman 2 has a 

slightly better engine than Tonic Trouble. He 

explains briefly that the Rayman 2 engine is 

indeed a 2nd generation Tonic Trouble engine. 

Does Rayman 2 require a 3D accelerator? 

Yes. We feel the 3D accelerated market needs 

games. People might say, "Hey, you aren't 

making games for gamers without 3D 

acceleration," but if nobody attempts to make 

incredible games by really using 3D 

acceleration, you could never validate the 

technology. People would wonder why they 

would need 3D acceleration if the game was 

the same without it. We are here to produce 



good games, even if they're 

designed with the future in 

mind. 

Michel points to one of the 

gorgeous, giant RGB 

Mitsubishi screens 

displaying Rayman 2 and 

says, "Don't forget, It 

works on a single 3Dfx 

board just fine. Oh yes, and on a Pentium 

166." 

So how hard are you pushing the cards? 

To the maximum. We have people specially 

optimizing for each accelerator card. It's 

important. On 3Dfx it runs at 3ofps, on 3Dfx 

Voodoo 2 it will run at 60. Both cards allow 

texture resolution of 640X480. 

The textures are Incredible. How does it run 

on two Voodoo 2s? 

You have to improve the 3D engine itself for it 

to work well. Once this is done, you can give 

information to the cards, but they're still 

waiting for the processor. It's a powerful setup. 

We've optimized performance for the low 

processor/first generation 3D card 

combination. In effect, if you use two Voodoo 

2s, you need a very efficient processor to 

supply the cards with information for the 

enhancements. Next time we make a game we 

won't just increase the resolution and frame 

rate for Voodoo 2, we'll add polygons to the 

characters and improve their expression. Oh, 

and we can achieve four times the resolution 

with two Voodoo 25. 

/ noticed there's no CG intros or intermissions 

right now. Wilt you be adding such features? 

No, we create cut-scenes with the help of the 

3 Dfx. Everything in the game is real-time. At 

this point we can create 

very impressive cartoon 

scenes using the game 

graphics alone. 

How many levels are 

being created? 

About 20, maybe less. 

We'd prefer less, but 

really big, high-quality 



■ /<&■ 



<k- 




levels - levels you'll 
be returning to for 
secrets and new 

characters. We'll have underwater, forest, 
temples, jungles, each with unique enemies. 
We'll have far more enemies than in the 
original game, and distance weapons. 
It's the last day of the show, and a late night 
party had rendered me tired and brainless. We 
share a powerful yawn. I guess he's had a 
busy show too -lots of traffic. He even led Mr. 
Miyamoto through the demo. Nintendo's 
Infamous game creator thought that Rayman 
2 was great, but explained that he wouldn't 
be playing it again until Zeida was done. 
Interesting... 

Right. What sacrifices will have to be made to 
the N64 version? 

We're working very hard on it. We had to 
change the gameplay because games are very 
"square" on the N64. 

Less polygons, right? What about the 
resolution? 

The video isn't very good on the N64. We have 
the best quality available to N64, which is 
64x64. Most people only reach 32x32. 
Can you tell us about the upcoming Rayman 2 
CG cartoon series? 

Yes, we have a team of twenty people working 
on it. It's all CG and it's very 
impressive. We're working with an 
L. A. -based director who has 
worked on animation for people 
like Disney. 

Wow! Sounds like something to 
look forward to. Thanks for your 
time and good luck with ait your 
projects! 




+fiC t-++**~m~ 1*0*11: 




s I slid through the crowd at the Acclaim press 
event, I noticed the 3Dfx version of Shadow Man out of 
the corner of my eye amidst the violent bursts and orchestral joy of Turok 2, 
where Dave Dientsbier lay waste upon hordes of Alien beasts. I hadn't paid 
Shadow Man much mind prior, writing it off as another Tomb Raider clone. 

But upon further inspection I discovered an intricate story woven around 
a haunting game which invites us into the life of Mike LeRoi, an English lit 
grad who becomes a part-time hit man when he can't find employment in his 
chosen vocation. In an unexpected turn of events, Mike and his family are 
killed in a freak car accident just as Mama Nettie, a New Orleans voodoo 
priestess, has a terrible vision of the apocalypse. She envisions five serial 
killers breaking through the world of the dead and leading minions of zom- 
bies into the world of the living, where they commence consumption and 
devastation. Her vision compels her to resurrect Mike LeRoi and place in his 
chest, The Mask of Shadows. Crossing over between the worlds of the living 
and of the dead is where the game takes place. Playing Shadow Man, you 
can manipulate both of Mike's hands, creatingsome unique multi-tasking as 
well as combination attacks. He can use a gun in one hand and a voodoo 
weapon in the other, or fire while unlocking a door or picking up an item. 
Optically the game evokes a dark, occult mood, and on the technical front it 
uses Iguana's VISTA (Virtually Integrated Scenic Terrain) engine, allowing 
the player to see far into the horizon with little to no fog. 

Shadow Man is sure to excite all, as it will grace all three major platforms 
late this year or early next. We'll have more on Shadow Man in upcoming 
issues of GR. f 



Pitaiyii/.M. 

Mil 



shadow man 




Within the game lies a revelation so stunning, 

they say you'll wonder if you're even playing a game at all. 



yt.xxM.i+11: : hum £ • 







arcade preview 



Toshihiro Nagoshi, producer of the 
wildly popular Daytona USA, is cur- 
rently preparing another groundbreaking 
title, called Spike, Mr. Nagoshi's key 
understanding of the importance of mul- 
tiplayer gaming is translating to what 
could be one of the most addicting 
arcade games to come a long in quite 
some time. 

The foundation of Spike is raw hand-to- 
hand combat, and here is the kicker: con- 
.nected to a network system with fiber 
I optics, 16 players can battle at once, sep- 
arated into teams of four. Fighting takes 
place over exquisitely detailed and huge- 
ly expansive urban environments such as 
gritty industrial grounds, littered streets, 
and busy malls. Nearly every object in 
the city is interactive, allowing you to use 
a wealth of objects as instruments of 
pain: chairs shatter across opponents' 
backs, pipes and scattered junk become 
blunt weapons, perfect for quick blows 
to the face. If a weapon is not readily 
available, a cement post or railing on an 
escalator is more than enough for a criti- 
cal blow. Gang up on someone, pummel 
him with multiple combos, throw him into 
a semi, and watch his flailing body 
destroy the vehicle - the fighting is outra- 
geously brutal and delightfully exagger- 
ated. And this exactly how it should be. 
Note: Spike is still very early in develop- 
ment with graphics and gameplay sub- 
ject to change. <§£■ 

HI 




By Brady Fiechter 



Intense sixteen player, team battle! 







AM2's latest features massive environmentsMKf 

5 ""jSEale buildings and set traps in huge urban arenas^Tea mwomis Jthelkey! 

m 




•arcade preview 





capcom • publisher capcom 



Ever astonishing the gaming press with their lack of 
vicissitude, Capcom have yet again announced a 2D 
hand-drawn fighting game and (get this), it's based on 
the Street Fighter series! Still, despite the legendary 
lack of innovation. Street Fighter Alpha 3 (or Zero 3 at 
the moment) looks to be more than a little promising, 
especially for those weaned on a diet of Blanka, E 
Honda and Vega, as they're just some of the fabulously 
redrawn characters on show for the first time since SF 
Super Turbo. Accompanying these elderly fighting folk, 
there's a couple of new brawlers to choose from f 

(bringing the total selectable characters up to 25) in 
the shape of Finai Fight's Cody, and a buxom female 
called Rainbow Mika. But the fun doesn't stop there, '; 
as Capcom of Japan tweaked the fighting engine to 
include a profusion of additions to make your combat 
as varied as possible. We liaised with SFtournament 
player Tom Cannon and procured some of his 
thoughts on the latest Street Fighter. 

After around 24 hours play, Tom generally agreed 
that Alpha 3 beats down its previous incarnation wil 
thick brass knuckles, as particular attention has 
been focused this time around on fixing Alpha 

Choose from 25 sMefbTawl^FsT. 

.including a full force of old favorites! 

! Counters and Custom Combos that pro players could uti- 
' lize in extremely cheap ways; and the addition of new 
' characters gives the player some exciting and brand new 
'.gameplay features, which don't seem to be open to 
abuse. Top of the "thumbs up"' list are the three modes 
(known strangely as "isms"), which are an attempt to 
grant each character a particular flavor (a technique sim- 
ilar to Samurai Showdown 3's Slash and Bust modes). 
Want Chun-Li to lose her Flip Kick and Rising Kick but to 
'have mastered her Spinning Bird Kick? Then choose 
"Chun-Li X-ism" version. Similarly, "Bison X-ism" can 
attack with the Psycho Crusher and Headstomp at the 
expense of his fireball. This essentially means that you 
have three variations of each character, and a total of 75 j 
individually different characters to choose from! 





— Secondly, Capcom have developed a Guard Crush system 
where the blocking of any move diminishes your guard meter 
(which replenishes slowly when a fighter isn't blocking incom- 
ing attacks). As a rule, around six fierce punches drain the 
meter completely, and once a player lands a hit on a guard- 
depleted foe, the victim goes into a reeling animation frame for 
about a second, where blocking and moving aren't possible. 
Shaking out of this mini-dizzy is possible (hammer those but- 
tons and joystick!), and the Guard levels are restored at the 
start of every round, but the main problem is pul- 



verizing your opponent witTTa super on ceTheir guard meter lowers to around a third. Choosing a character with a strong 
super (X-ism's Ken, for example, whose Shoryureppa smashes a full guard meter with two super hits to spare) and perform- 
ing this technique causes even more major and extremely cheap problems, which we hope are fixed in the final game. 

Alpha Counters (retaliation after blocking an attack) seem to have been toned down a lit- 
tle too much for Alpha 3, as they inflict little to no damage and decrease your guard 
1 meter, meaning they can't be used as pas- 
sive offense. Now, the only time to perform 
the Alpha Counter is to prevent a guard 
meter crush or to knock out an opponent. 
Conversely, the juggling system for catching 
airborne opponents is similar to SF Super 
Turbo's, as you're essentially vulnerable 
once you leap, and moves that previously 
knocked a player high into the air now only 
raise you a little. Another way to prevent 
juggles is to press both punches andr ._ 5 
flip out of a jump. Additionally, one 
other main attack has been tweaked, 
the Major Counter, which is a fierce or 
roundhouse move on another oppo- 
nent's attack. The hit is spectacular, 
causes a pause of around a second 
and is useful for slower characters. 




Ultra-intensive battles ensue! 





Finally, the Custom Combo system has been 
overhauled. Now nicknamed "Variation Combos," 
an activated combo produces three shadows 
behind the character. The third shadow, however, 
mimics moves at different times from the other two 
shadows, and this seems to be dependent on the 
strength of the Variation Combo. Slap down a jab 
and a short together, and your third shadow exe- 
cutes a fireball (for example) very shortly after the 
"real" original character throws it. Moves and 
walking speeds are also faster, and it's also possi- 
ble to fall through rising attacks (like the Dragon 
Punch). After practicing, it was possible to abuse this 
system (Tom managed some devastating Variation 
Combos that halved a foe's health), and this could lead 
to certain "ism" characters being employed extensively. 

However, what was generally appreciated was that 
Alpha 3 has a lot more to offer than the "Second Impact" 
of Street Fighter 3. The return of classic characters, con- 
tinuously tweaked gameplay and extremely detailed (not 
to mention superbly hand-drawn) sprites mean that the 
Street Fighter legend can only continue and flourish. ® 





\ perfect system by 

Wisely snagged for translation by Working • 
Designs' Spaz division (the same team that i 
brought us Raystorm) the import Saturn shoot- 
ing masterpiece Thunderforce V will soon see 
the light of day stateside as an exclusive 
PlayStation release. The PlayStation version is 
already available in Japan and it performs exact- 
ly as one would expect, suffering a loss of paral- 
lax scrolling and sprite animation next to the 
Saturn version, but slightly faster gameplay due 
to the PlayStation's superior 3D capabilities. 
However, regardless of platform differences, the 
game is raw, unadulterated Thunderforce all the 
way through. 

My eyes continued to stir after I played the 
game, my mind throbbed with flashbacks of 
near process overload. Rotating psychedelic 
backgrounds, cycling patterns of circuitry matri- 
ces, monumental bosses tearing asunder as I 
exploit their Achilles heels, and extremely tight 
pattern memorization. A dense fabric of minis- 
cule yellow balls forming before me, pushing my 
hand-eye coordination to the max. Pulsing 
music increasing my already boiling adrenaline. 
All very intense stuff, although previously 
flawed. 

There was one major issue with the import 
version of TF V: it was overly short, even after 
Techno Soft upped the number of levels from 
the Saturn version's six to seven, and added 
original CG sequences. That made it very hard 
to recommend as an import purchase, but 
Working Designs are making the necessary 
improvements for the US release., , 

The US version will be 50% more difficult 



Dave Rees 



4 *~ 



normal mode and a 25%'more difficult on - 
hard. Like the changes that were made to 
Raystorm for its US debut, the bosses will 
be more difficult to defeat and you won't be 
able to beat the game on easy or normal diffi- 
culty level. In other words, you'll have to mas- 
ter rFVto claim victory. These tweaks not 
only add necessary challenge, but also 
increase the game's length without any loss in 
overall balance. 

We'll have a complete review in an upcom- 
ing issue of Gamers' Republic. @ 







special combat team of the Earth 

Th» Thundorforce • ipirluci on Playstatloa will kit you like t ttmpttt 

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trespasser 

' fly Brady Fiechter 

enter a world where reality and 
fantasy become one... 

your imagination is the only boundary... 

Video games are an escape, pathways to alternate realities 
created in the bizarre, the humorous, the gruesome, the fan- 
tastic. Whatever the designer chooses to create, we become a 
part of his imagination, merging and extending his vision into our 
own. Seamus Blackley, the producer of the archetypal 
Trespasser, understands what such a vision is all about: "Being 
in another place is what makes a great game. The essence of the 
power of the game, how immersed you are, 
how believable the world is — everything con- 
tributes to that quality. When you believe in 
the game's world, then that's when it's truly 
working." 

Nothing would please Seamus and the 
Trespasser team more than to have us believe 
in the world they are creating - to see us trans- 
fixed by the tranquil island setting, lost in the 
jungle stillness, unnerved by the roaming 
dinosaurs rupturing the peaceful silence. 
Flowing from radical concepts no other video 
game would dare conceive, Trespasser's fanta- 
sy is becoming exactly what the designers had 
envisioned it would be, and when you see the 
epochal physics engine that feeds their 
visions, you may never view gaming in the 
same light again. 

As part of a unique reality, video games are 
often self-contained in their own physical 
domain, and it is here where anything goes. 
Instead of moving away from the confines of 
reality, Trespasser chooses to merge fantasy 
with real world physics in a way never before 

Continued next page 



( : i 



r . ' f"" t M 






u*'-- 






J<&T~ 






Thanks to Seamus Blackley, Rich Flier, and the entire Trespasser team 
for their patience and courtesy in making this preview possible. 



•1 







-^Cr 




seen. Objects have mass, shape, and orienta- 
tion, and they react to force as you would expect 
them to — they break, splinter, wobble and fall. 
Apply pressure to trees and plants, and they 
bend. Shoot a barrel, and it topples over, rolling 
on the ground depending on where you pene- 
trate it. Push a log near its end, and it will rotate. 
Because every object in the game reflects a cen- 
ter of mass, every scenario you are faced with 
will follow a logical, reality-based sequence. 



Largely a puzzle-oriented adventure, 
Trespasser requires you to navigate the island 
by employing a number of ingenious steps, 
where every object around you can become an 
invaluable tool for success. Build a bridge, fash- 
ion a weapon, provoke a dinosaur to demolish a 
locked gate — your sense of logic and clever- 
ness become the ultimate tool for survival. 

Lose yourself in the Island 

Hidden within the thick foliage is a pool of water 
rippling gently from the disruption of a distant 
waterfall. A delicate flower is dropped into the 



•y 



& 





crystalline pool, sending gentle waves outward 
towards the edge, which trickle back toward the point 
of impact, rebounding off eachother and spreading 
farther and wider upon each return from the bank. A 
dinosaur is shot dead into this same body of water, 
sending fierce waves throughout. When the water 
dies down, the rippling shadow of the creature 
pierces the surface reflection - an astounding site. 
Images like these dazzle the imagination, lending 
even more credence to the Trespasser team goal of 









creating the most absorbing adventure game imagin- 
able. And here again, a large part of its effectiveness 
is drawn from the physics engine. There is solidity to 
the environments, a tangible beauty that seems to leap from the screen 
in its compelling complexity. 

Every motion will convince you of a certain reality, especially in the 
dinosaurs: the stomach of a T-Rex rises and falls with each giant 
breath, and a shotgun blast to the head of a Raptor sends it reeling in a 
sickeningly violent fall. Modeled in full 3D and bump mapped to give 
their skin even more texture, they also lurk with no pre-scripted animations, reacting uniquely to every provocation. Not know- 
ing exactly how they will respond to their surroundings is part of the intensity. If handled correctly, deadly confrontation can be 
avoided altogether, and the dinosaur can be left to live; kill it, and no matter how far you roam, once you return, it will still be 
lying where you left it. But who wants to let these amazing creatures just saunter away? It's too exhilarating to see their wealth 
of reactions to your presence. Part of the fun is trying to fend off a charging attack with any object you can find; just wait until 
a raptor stumbles over a barrel you've thrown in its path or gets tripped up in a confused pack of its own kind. Anything is pos- 
sible. The designers gave the dinosaurs life. Now it's up to us to interact with them. Our imagination is the only boundary. # 



whatever you may see is yours to explore. 






mm i 




^~^~ 



■iffm- 



tiAln^ZS&k&A 





Even before the actual action began, we took note of the 
ripples and shimmering water, and sneakily opted for the ? 
all- weapons cheat, easing into the level, and spotting our ; 
first Raptor. With its Softskin textures and ferocious fea- 1 
tures, we backed away as it hissed, loped forward inquis- 
itively, and was brought to a sickeningly horrific halt in a 
shower of spouting blood. Shards of pink light ripped 
through the Raptor's head, and thanks to specific colli- 
sion detection, we carved its head clean off. Standing 
agape, we watched the head fly off, and the neck stump 
splurted gouts of globulous gore in random patterns on 
the cobblestone floor. Still stumbling about (headless 
chicken style), the Raptor ran hither and yon before col- 
lapsing in a blood-soaked heap. 

After a round of polite clapping, we continued our mis- 
sion to cull every Dinosoid in the Port. Handling what 
looked like a very weighty Magnum for the first time, we 
opened a huge and ornate oak doorway, letting loose a 
trio of Dinosoids behind us (in true first-person shooter 
ambush style). Flipping around, we backpedaled, planting 
bullets into hard reptilian flesh. A lizard creature splut- 
tered a fell in a perfectly animated death spasm. Huge 
orange apes with leathery skin and lizard faces danced 
past their fallen comrade, and we opted for a spot of 
eight-shot missile action. Once the smoke cleared, only 
twitching husks remained. 

Further into the level, Mr. Dienstbier insisted we stop 
hurting his critters, and told us to switch to the Storm 
Bow. We targeted a Dinosoid far into the foggy distance, 
zoomed in on it and shot it in the head. It fell off its lofty 
perch (complete with a cascade of bloody globules). We 
also discovered a rather nifty mine-laying weapon which 
severely prevents your reptilian enemies following you 
{any that do are exploding in a massive plasma storm). 



Further into the demonstration, I took a couple of minutes 
out to shoot down a large crow-like creature that was cir- 
cling high above. Finally, we saw the immense Alien Soldier 
from the futuristic levels later into the game. These bad 
boys filled the entire screen, and we hadn't even seen one 
of the five bosses yet (although we were treated to a room 
full of glowing fungus and a boss encounter chamber 
resplendent with walls could only be described as 'sphinc- 
teresque')! Expect our own action screens next issue! $ 





Sony's ne\ 

One thing's for sure, it's certainljfj^nique! 



wet or wild* 



¥ 



Does the world need another racing game? Gran Tourismo is cer- 
tainly the pinnacle of serious racing on the PS, and besides, there 
are innumerable choices for all walks of racing fans. Although there are 
no notable boat racing games (Powerboat Racing bites too much to 
count) it would take a damn good one to wrestle fifty bucks out of my 
pocket and probably yours, too. SCEA's Turbo Prop Racing is soon to 
make a go of it. 

Besides running at 60 fps among impressively textured environ- 
ments and almost psychedelic water, TPS sports considerable longevi- 
ty. Subsequent to winning (1st place alone advances) on all 18 tracks 
(six initially, then reverse and mirror) still more racing lies ahead. The 
awarded random seed generator allows you to create an infinite array 
of tracks. They're nowhere near as impressive as the in-game channels 
and twists, but they do allow for some amusing experimentation. 

Besides depth, PBR introduces a unique brand of physics to 
PlayStation racing. Using the Dual Shock Analog wand in conjunction 
with the Ri & L 1, you wilt eventually learn the clever nuances of TPR's 
control. At first you'll curse it, but after some careful scrutiny you'll be 
fjarely nicking the sides as you duel it out with 16 other serious com- 
petitors. The feeling under hull isn't quite the sensation felt 
Waverace, but it's the closest you're likely to get holding a PS controller. 
It definitely feels liquid. 

One of the mistakes Powerboat Racing's designers made was to stay 
somewhat realistic with relatively flat bodies of water. TPR, however, is 
more of a fantasy/simulation hybrid. The courses have all the nuances 





you'd expect from a well designed land based racer, with hills, jumps 
and perilous drop-offs. And the final course on each stage takes place 
on a molten lava flow. Adding further to the gameplay are an assort- 
ment of colored markers (which either speed you up or slow you down 
depending on the color and amount you've hit or missed), and some 
pretty vicious Al, at least in our preveiwable version. Current problem 
areas are restricted to some track-side chop when the camera comes in 
tight (usually because you've run aground), some seam splitting, and 
some control issues - nothing that can't be fixed. 

So maybe the world can do with another racing game. We'll see when 
we review TPR in an upcoming issue, f 









FOR NINTENDO 64 M© 








*'«to. 



Prebook for % 

inly $10.??I BB : ^;V *Ji»0 



(Newstand Price 



$12.99) 



Following the success of the Millennium Publications Officiat^fke Strategy 
Guide for the Nintendo 64, we are pleased to announce the Official Tut 
Strategy Guide for the Nintendo 64 and PC; a lavish, informative 



of the year. The stunning Turok 2 sets new standards in graphic and gameplay 
excellence, and Millennium Books is here to provide every Turok 2 player with 
a guide designed to fu{ly compliment the game and provide quintessential 
knowledge for the novice hunter to the dinosaur destroyer. 

To order, Call: 1.800.691.7886 



Only from... 

miLLENNIUin* 



P L' I! I. I C A I IONS IN C 



mm !~ . Jltar BBC^" . ■._ JL_ JL 



w 



The most visually impressive game yet 
seen, Unreal receives much praise and a 
tittle scorn in its review, thanks to the uncom- 
promising tactic we use in all our easy-to- 
decipher criticisms. We've received a load of 
letters and e-mails remarking on the ease 
and effectiveness of our rating system (which 
we're constantly tweaking: we're toying with 
ideas of secondary reviewer opinions, but 
let's be clear - you'll never see a third of a 
page wasted on meaningless charts and rat- 
ings like "8.5 out of 10" in this journal). 

Delayed nearly nine months, Mission: 
Impossible unfortunately could benefit 
from even more molding - some fantas- k 

tic concepts never came to fruition. 
Also, making a much-awaited 
appearance is Final Fantasy VII for 
the PC, and while not as visually 
illuminating as the PS version, the 
core of the game shines brightly. 
Mention must also be made of 
Vigilante 8, the delightfully 
chaotic take on car carnage; and 
as the amusing tv ad states, you 
do get to "blow s**t up." If such 
an offer sounds appealing, Total 
Annihilation will also give you 
more than enough opportunities 
to experience mass destruction. 





J J 




Aero Gauge 


C+ 


Descent Freespace 


A 


Elemental Bearbolt 


B- 


Final Fantasy VII ■ PC 


A- 


Jersey Devil 


B- 


Mission Impossible 


C 


Monster Truck Rally 2 


C+ 


NFL Extreme 


B 


Quake 2 Mission Pack 1 


B 


Road Rash 3D 


8 


Spec Ops 


B 


T.A. Core Contingency 


A- 


Tomba 


8+ 


Unreal 


B* 


Vigilante 8 


B+ 



i. Gomes marked 
in RED are highly rec- 
ommended for your gam- 
ing collection. 

2, Games marked in should 

be avoided completely. 

[Subject to the reviewer's personal prefer- 
ences, it can be generally accepted that any 
gome scoring a B or higher is a great way to 
spend your gaming evening. Games scoring a 
low D or F should be microwaved for three sec- 
onds and returned.] 




tmu~*-5..m: 









ir 
muwhu 




■sir 


HUH 





IfniEHUU 

til 




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[A+toA] Games in this bracket are the indubitable cream of the crop. They feature the very best in visual 
L presentation, and are excellent in both initial and long term payability. The very best video game of its type, 
' or an extremely close approximation thereof. Example: Gran Turismo 

[A- to B] Games in this bracket are excellent, solid and highly playable pieces of software, although they 
lack minor polish to become truly outstanding. Slight graphical glitching coupled with a marginally disap- 
pointing ending may mar an otherwise exalted release. Example: Tenchu 

[B- to C) Games in this bracket may have some great elements to them, but these are let down by one or two 
quite major problems, such as a limited movement, irritating sound or speech, and a lack of foresight in the 
level design. Passable entertainment - nothing more. Example: Pitfall 3D 

[C- to D] Games in this bracket require serious help in two or more areas. Perhaps the control responds hor- 
ribly and the characters animate poorly. Although a game of this caliber may have had a great initial con- 
cept, it was never fully realized in the final stages of design. Example: MK Mythologies: Sub Zero 

[D- to F] Very rarely will you come across a game of this lack of quality. A complete dearth of vision, a deter- 
mination to remove any semblance of gameplay or fun, and particular attention made to use none of the 
most rudimentary of the system's proprietary tools. Example: Fantastic Four 




Elemental Georbolt comes from the team that 
originally brought you Sony's fairly disap- 
pointing Project:Horned Owl, and they have 
redeemed themselves somewhat with their latest 
shooter offering. While Project resembled little 
more than a warmed over and slightly lame ver- 
sion of Steel Gunner, Elemental Georbolt sets off 
in its own direction with an art style that's more 
fantasy than hardware based. Beginning with 

well produced anime cut scenes done oy Mad House, this game aims to impress, and 
this is no more true than when it comes to the music, a ludicrously scrumptious orches- 
tral soundtrack that is truly film worthy. 

There are six levels in Elemental, all with dramatic names like the Plains of Despair 
and Grieving Angel's Descent. For an onthe rails shooter, the background graphics are 



elemental gearbolt 

Alfa Systems makes up for their lackluster %J fy Mlke Hobbs 

Project:Horned Owl with this very imaginative gun game 







decent and, at times, epic in scope, but the engine on dis- 
play is far from beautiful. Frequent z-buffering issues and 
fairly low-res textures detract from its overall visual pre- 
sentation. The enemies, a combination of sprite and 
polygonal constructions, benefit from good, satisfying 
placement, but can be a bit sparse at times. 

it's in the gameplay that EG earns its above average sta- 
tus. As a shooter, it's just plain fun. Played with Namco's 
wonderfully accurate Guncon, picking off enemies and 
racking up combo bonuses has a good feel to it. And inci- 
dentally, you never have to reload in the game, a hint at its 
intentions as a straightforward shooter. You are also given 
a choice of three weapons, all switchable on the fly, though 
only one is really worth your time. 

In bringing the game stateside, Working Designs have 
made a few changes, mostly for the better. The difficulty 
has been upped a bit over the Japanese version - a wise 
move - and they've added things called chalices, hidden 
throughout the levels. Tucked away in certain background 
elements, these can power up your weapons and provide 
something of an incentive to replay the game. What's not 
so great is flat dubbing of the anime cut scenes, but that's 
really neither here nor there. 

While Elemental doesn't hold a candle to something like 
Time Crisis or even Point Blank, there's no denying its 
inherent fun. It's a very playable, if short, little shooter 
with a truly awe-inspir- 
ing soundtrack that at 
times convinces you that 
you're playing something 
I much cooler. * 




V 6000 •iVmpHOIIIC fSUUIlttTflRCK 

tHiiutiiiG actum 




tiiee level oes/en 

H LITTLE SHOUT FtHD ER: 



• developer square • publisher eidos • available now 



The seminal Square adventure continues! 






There's one major difference between consoles and 
PCs that makes them two peas in completely sepa- 
rate pods: available resources. On the PC, RAM and 3D 
processing power are relatively boundless and can 
always be upgraded if necessary. On consoles, dealing 
with a fixed amount of available RAM and processing 
power results in a constant struggle for programmers, 
often demanding insane memory management routines 
that seemingly make the hardware supersede its limita- 
tions. So one would assume that Final Fantasy VII would 
translate perfectly to the PC. 

Well, don't assume too much; the overall visual and 
aural impact of the PSX version is not always so appar- 
ent on the PC version. Benefiting from 3 Dfx, the game's 
battle sequence, world map and mini-game graphics 
are much cleaner and animate at faster frame rates, but 
the overall effect is essentially the same - which is a 
very good thing of course. However, if you want to 
play the game at a screen resolution of 640x480, 
don't expect to be amazed by the pre-rendered back- 
grounds. They are identical, but that is the problem. 
Stretching a 320 x 240 image across a gaping 640 x 
480 screen results in a blocky mess that falls far short 
of the crisp look of the PS version. At the same time, 
the cleaner looking polygonal charac- 
ters look skewed against the chunky 
backdrops. The same thing can be said 
about FF Vii's CG sequences, which 
happen to be a big part of the game's 
atmosphere. Of course, you could 




FFVII on PC has some faults, but retains the magic of the original! 



FFYII on PC his some faults, but retains tbl magic of the original! 

inal fantasy VII 

Is this epic RPG truly enhanced? \\W y By Dave Rees 




always choose to view the game at 320x240, but who 
wants to suffer from severe eyestrain after about fif- 
teen minutes of play? And although the music is 
arranged properly, the quality is directly dependent on 
your sound card and midi driver. Those with low-end 
sound cards will not be impressed with the results. 

FFVII on the PC still manages to captivate players 
with its wonderfully original theme and atmosphere, 
even if it does look and sound a tad odd at times. And 
the story itself is perfect. For that reason, I highly rec- 
ommend it to any RPG fan. \y 





PRE REHDERED OREKGROUnOS RI1D CG BRE LDLJ-RES 
THE mUSlC IS CORRECT. BUT THE inSTRUflEHTS HRE OFF 



R 





I had no prior knowledge of such a creature... a Jersey Devil? New Jersey folk lore perhaps. Visions of the horri- 
fied couple from Batman Returns sending Danny Devito afloat down the NYC sewer canal came to mind. A sim- 
ilar occurrence? Probably not . I'll stick with this story for now: jersey Devil is an entertaining 3D action platformer 
surrounded by an excellent motif that lands somewhere between a WB cartoon and Scooby Doo. While borrowing 

from similar 3D platform fare (he attacks and 
breaks crates like Crash), JerseyDevil also offers up 
some fresh ideas in level design, boss encounters, 
and the way you find each level. Only after 
unearthing the hidden tokens to spell out K-N-A- 
R-F will you gain access to each area's inner sanc- 
tum. There you must battle your way into and then 
demolish each of Dr. Knarf's secret labs. In the 
interest of cutting to the chase I'll skip the long ver- 
sion: the story involves mutated vegetables and 
the species that come into contact with them, 
doomsday, and a lot of jumping around to make 
sure infection doesn't happen. From within a town 
square in jersey City our hero must enter and clear 
six zones. For the most part, each consists of hard- 
core platforming, including timing maneuvers, 
switch throwing to turn on transportation gizmos, 
search and rescue, and of course warding off 
spooks and the like. To really squeeze all of the fun 
out of ID, exploration comes into play. In order to 
truly finish off each area, Jersey D. will need to spell 
the word, find the key, find and smash all of the 
green Nitro Boxes, release any hostages, acquire 
the K- Token by defeating the boss, and then com- 
mence to bustin' up the lab. The key, of course, is 
making a game repayable enough to warrant sticking around, and 
Behavior have succeeded in doing so. ID is a very cool character to con- 
trol, and while the game does have some inherent problems such as z- 
buffering woes and the occasional claustrophobic camera squeeze, 
overall, the graphics and atmosphere are unique and captivating, jersey 
Devil Is not a perfect game (maybe the sequel will be) but in a genre I 
can't get enough of, it's a welcome addition, f 



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• developer ocean • publisher ocean • available now I pac 



One of the most delayed games in N64 history has final- 
ly shown its face in a reviewable form. Ocean's Mission: 
Impossible was originally planned for a release last fall and 
has seen its share of behind the scenes wrangling. But of 
course the real question is, was the delay worth it? Has the 
extra time resulted in a game that is thoroughly buttoned- 
up, polished, and looks as if it's been gone over with a fine- 
toothed comb? lnaword.no. 

Most noticeably, this is one unattractive game. Apart from 
the typical N64 graininess and blurred textures, Mil suffers 
from frequent frame rate drop and all kinds of screwed-up 
looking dithering. The whole affair just looks sloppy and 
unrefined, though in its favor, the engine is being asked to 
present a wide variety of environments, from sprawling out- 
door levels to confined train interiors. 

M:l's one positive note is its missions. You're given a wide 
range of tasks to perform, though admittedly in a very linear 
fashion. There are bombs to set, people to rescue, identities 
to assume, and information to recover. A particularly cool 
mission has you protecting Ethan through the point of view 
of a couple of snipers; another details the recovery of the 
NOC list spanning several missions, though in a manner all 
together different from the film. In fact, those expecting a 
re-creation of the events of the film will be disappointed, as 
only the vault and high-speed train levels resemble the 
movie in any way. 
Unfortunately, the vita! aspect of control leaves a bit to be 
desired. While the relatively slow nature of the 
game allows for the less than pinpoint character 
movement, control is decidedly sluggish and 
inspires little confidence. Considering that certain 
members of the development team worked on a 
couple of Alone in the Dark titles, this is none too 
surprising. You do get used to it, but it's not what 
you would expect from a game that's been delayed 
this long. 

You would also expect a game that's had this 
type of extended gestation to at least feel com- 






mission: 






Is 




but I'm telling you, it feels unfinished. In our 
ew copy, there was a moment where the game com- 
ly froze, and I got stuck inside a desk (great colli- 
and had to reset. There were even times in the 
sniper level when non-player characters would appear 
and disappear right before my very eyes. There's just 
no excuse for that. If it weren't for the fact that I actu- 
ally found myself caught up in some of the cooler mis- 
sions, this game would be a complete train wreck. =fr 



LOT TO DE DESIRED 
CDf]TROL IS SLUGGISH THOUGH RDEQURTE 




■ somE missions hue quite u/ei 

B miJSIC BORDERS OD TERRIOLE 



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Ws/jer GT Interactive • available now | «C^J» 



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I first saw Unreei/ at the 1996 ECTS in London. At that point it 
had been in development for a year and was tentatively slat- 
ed to ship first quarter '97. 1 remember being impressed by the 
demonstration and then balking at the fact that Epic were tar- 
geting low-end Pentiums as the minimum system spec. Who 
the hell had that kind of hardware?! Well, three years later, 
here we are. The game formally known as vaporware has final- 
ly shipped, and it's going to take a lot more than a low-end 
Pentium to get this baby running smoothly! 

In Unreal you play the part of a convicted felon who is acci- 
dentally freed when the prison ship you are being transported 
on mysteriously crash lands on an uncharted alien planet. Your 
objectives are simple - locate a space craft and get the hell off 
this rock! 

Lets begin with Unreal's biggest selling point - the graphics. 
Much has been made of Unreal's visuals, and with good reason 
- they are simply astounding. On the right system, Unreal 
looks like no other game on earth. Highly detailed textures, 
lush, intricate environments, amazing lighting (those coronas 
get me every time), ground breaking special effects and fan- 
tastical creatures that animate as good as they look create a 
dazzling display. The Unreal engine allows for HUGE open 
areas, similar to jedi Knight, but without the detail compro- 
mise. If there is one area in which Unreal really lives up to its 
namesake, it's the graphics. 

The sound effects are ok, especially the ambient environ- 
mental sounds, but I think the weapon noises are somewhat 
lacking. The music is generated in real time and keeps pace 
with the on-screen action. This is a nice touch, and is especial- 
ly effective when used in conjunction with scripted events (e.g. 
when the music cuts out at a particularly tense moment). 






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However, the quality of the music does leave a lot to be desired, 
especially with the default sampling rate. 

Gameplay is very much in the genre mold. There are a few wel- 
come additions to the usual run and shoot formula, but we've seen 
most of them before. Proximity damage (Goldeneye), an item 
inventory (Hexen), optional readable stuff in the environments 
(Hexen 2), dodging (Turok), moveable objects (Hexen 2) and 
destructible scenery (Duke Nukem 3D). There are SOME new fea- 
tures - like the Nail revealing secrets and the inventive use of light- 
ing - but they hardly constitute a break though. There is nothing 
here to that screams innovation. However, just because Unreal isn't 
doing anything new, doesn't mean it isn't doing it well. For a start, 
I the enemy Al is excellent. The monsters will intelligently dodge 
• your projectile attacks, run away from you when damaged and use 
■ alternative routes to hunt you down. It is not a HUGE advance from 
'| other 1st person shooters, but I was pleasantly surprised to see 
^ some little details like Brutes deliberately aiming for splash dam- 
age, or Skaarj acting differently depending on what weapon I was 
holding. 

Speaking of weapons, the guns in Unreal are a mixed bag of nuts. 
Epic have obviously tried to steer away from the 1st person staple 
diet of shotguns and rocket launchers with variable results. The 
weapon models look the part, but when firing them they just don't 
FEEL lethal enough; probably a result of the weedy sound effects 
and low damage. However, the mechanics of the various guns are 
unique, and each has a secondary mode of fire (as seen in 
Lucasart's Outlaws). Not all secondary modes are practical, but it is' 
a welcome gameplay addition nonetheless. Not surprisingly, per- 
haps the single greatest aspect of Unreal is the level design 
(they've had three years!). The Unreal engine has given the design- 



, jffifr 









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» 



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license to go where no first person shooter has gone before,^ 
: and they've made the most of it. The mixture of organic, futurisj 
tic and medieval architecture makes for an eclectic visual brotl 
that surprises and delights the player at every turn. The attention 
: to detail is outstanding, and while the environments may not bef? 
as interactive as they are in Duke Nukem 3D or Hexen 2, they cer-^ 
tainiy look a lot better. With such a captivating, immersing singll 
player experience, you would expect the multiplayer experience 
to be even better, right? Wrong. As I already mentioned, the 1 
weapons are a bit weedy, but that's not all. Unreal's on-line per* ^ 
formance is extremely lacking. The out of the box game il 
unplayable on anything less than an ISDN connection. A patch is 
in the works to remedy this situation, but just how much it wilt j 
accomplish is unknown. You do have the option to play agains^ 
CPU controlled BOTS, but it's just not the same. 

The internet requirements aren't the only unrealistic system! 
specs either. Forget about what it says on the box. In order tq 
enjoy Unreal as it was meant to be enjoyed, you need AT LEAST j 







P2 with 64mb RAM, close to half a gig of hard drive space and a , 
decent 3D accelerator. There is a comprehensive advanced! 
options menu that allows you to deactivate some of the cooler 
graphical effects, but to be honest, the primary reason for playing 
Unreal IS the graphical effects. Turn these off and the game loos- 
I es most of its appeal. I know progress is demanding of technolo- 
gy, but it shouldn't be THIS demanding. Overall, how much you ' 
enjoy Unreal is really going to depend on what kind of system you 
have. If you have the right rig, you will experience an engrossing"] 
single player quest with ground breaking visuals and question- - ! 
able multiplayer capabilities. On the other hand, if your system 
isn't up to the task, you will experience a stutter-fest that will. 
have you cursing Epic's name affl 
en- .'/.■v.<v„:,/,,w ^r^uRcmcnTs the way back to the store for af 

refund. It's your call 



• developer luxoflux • , 



Usher activision • available now 






7wisted Metal 2 is just begging to be dethroned. Its engine has 
not aged well, the play-mechanics have become dull and 
uninteresting, and its theme, in retrospect, is boring and two- 
dimensional. But wait! Fans of TM2 have no reason to be up in 
arms right now. You see, I too enjoyed that top-selling title at its 
peak, because I'm a long-time fan of the genre and it was the 
only game of its ilk available on the PS for some time. Weli, all 
that has changed now. Luxoflux and Activision have prepared an 
excellent challenger for Twisted Metal 2, and a welcome addition 
to the Vehicular Combat genre overall. Vigilante 8 is a superior 
product with an incredibly robust graphics engine chock-full of 
pretty effects and frenetic action gameplay marred by few faults. 
To begin with, V8 offers an impressive, polished presentation 
throughout. The CG intra is crisp and high-quality, option screens 
are in blinky-bright high-res, and all menus and side bars are 
designed with the appealing V8 theme in mind. The option fea- 
tures are extremely easy to navigate through, configuring such 
items as sound and music (via a cool 3D mixing board), diffi- 




■•'..* IK 7 1 









culty, and control. There's also a useful Status option 
where you can check on your position in the Quest mode, 
via a tree-type diagram. As you conquer the game with each 
character, the tree is updated to mark your progress. Once 
all the slots are filled on the tree (a long night's task, at the 
most), you'll be rewarded with new tracks and other treats. 
The Quest mode will more than likely be your first ded- 
icated foray into V8. Here you'll get to grips with the con- 
trols, learn essential survival techniques by suffering 
under the bastard CPU's cruel attacks, and generally 
experience the depth of each level's design, physics, 
and secrets. I especially enjoy the planned set-ups in 
each level. In Casino City for example, the vast majori- 
ty of valuable power-ups are located high atop the 
roofs of the buildings. To get at them, you must 
destroy gas stations nearby, creating a "ramp" out of 



High-powered vehicular combat! 

Featuring graphics and gameplay that outshine Twisted Metal 21 




fallen overhangs. You'll then line up with the 

ramp, floor it, and trigger a turbo boost (enabled 

by pressing up-up-up and fire when you have 

homers - your missile gets stuck in the launcher!) to soar through the 

skies, roof-bound. V8 has loads of set-ups like the one I've just 

described, although Casino City, it must be said, requires slightly more 

skill than most! 

Now let's talk balance, something these types of games live or die by. 
V8 succeeds in almost all areas. The control, once understood, is spot- 
on. All the vehicles have unique handling characteristics, some slower, 
some faster, and some with better traction and/or raw power. The move- 
ment is based heavily on momentum, so speedy maneuvering is a result 
of patience and constant correction. The physics, unfortunately, are 
often too much. If you play the game hard, and by that I mean non-stop 
speed and risk-taking, your vehicle has a tendency to land at bizarre 




This is Luxofluxs custom V8 level editor, showcasing the Hoover Dam level The large 
image shows the wire-frame overlay of collisions while the bottom left highlights On red) 
the amazing amount ofdesbvch'ble objects. Nice. 



angles, sending the screen into convulsions of 
spins and rolls. You'll find ways out of this (tur- 
bos usually boost you back on track), but it 
shouldn't be necessary. Thankfully the physics are 
usually a very good thing, especially with levels as 
complex in design as these. 

Damn! Almost forgot the two-player mode. The split 
can be vertical or horizontal, the engine holds togeth- 
er well, and the action is strategic and fast. There's 
also a two-player co-op mode where you and a buddy 
challenge three CPU opponents in a deathmatch-type 
scenario. If you've grown weary of single-player games 
in the Quest and Arcade modes, the two-player game 
is an excellent alternative. 

A few final notes now. The music, apart from two 
good disco tunes and a cool symphonic track, is 
just crap. Activision, what's up? Fear not: you can 
stick your own CD in the machine, thanks to some 
foresight on the part of Luxoflux. Also, the voices 
are NOT funny and they're horribly acted. I have 
no other complaints. V8 is a great vehicular com- 
bat game that fans will love. The levels are fantas- 
tic, everything in sight can be destroyed, and there's 
plenty of skillful gameplay both alone or multiplayer. 

p.s. 1 just beat it... man, that little Grey is so 
cool! S£ 





is rt rimes frr too ir terse 
grert v s maoe offers lords of replrvrbilitv 






C + 



Slightly re-balanced since its 
debut in lapan, Aero Gauge is a 
decent attempt at futuristic rac- 
ing on N64. Unlike Wipeout's 
close to the ground hover vehi- 
cles, you control the height of 
your craft greatly in AG as you 
rise to enter tunnels or dive to 
avoid horizontal obstructions, 
adding a bit of variety to the 
usual "left-right" style of most 
racing gameplay. The control 
over your craft is tight, if a bit 
dry. You're given a satisfying 
drifting turbo boost that takes 
some skill to use, but there is a 
slight lack of subtlety in the 
craft's movement and the con- 
trol doesn't reward over time quite like Wipeout does. The vehicle 
models, however, took good and have cool little flaps and other 
moving parts on them adding a tech-y sort of realism. And while 
the tracks benefit from generally good design, the draw-in is 
severe and constantly pulls you out of the reality. Also on the neg- 
ative tip are truly horrendous tunes - you're better off listening to 
the high tech whine of the ships. Aero Gauge ends up being a good 
attempt, partially let down by the hardware and ever so slightly 
tepid gameplay. =§= 




Si 



i 




As the 1 
there is 




game's title admits, 
nothing confining 
about Descent Freespace. 
There are no boundaries, no 
walls, no narrow hallways or 
corridors - just a universe of 
wide-open, deep outerspace. 
But that is not what makes this 
game so special. It is ludicrous 
to think that I may someday fly some sort of starship through 
space, rendezvous with some sort of ally squadron, and then dog- 
fight with a squadron of aliens in their own sort of starships. I'll 
never fire lock-on missiles and laser cannons at a behemoth bat- 
tlecruiser's weapons systems with pinpoint accuracy or soar aside 
a huge Terran Carrier that is 2012 meters long compared to my 10 
meters. I'd love to, but you know the drill. However, when I sit 
down in front of my PC and 
play a game of Descent 
Freespace, fantasy and reali- 
ty seem to lose their differ- 
ences. Although one cannot 
ignore that others have tried 
this before [Wing comman- 
der, X-Wing, Colony Wars) it 
is very apparent that 
Freespace does it with the 
most impressive results. 
Recommended. Gy 








» 



ROAD RASH 3D 



B 



ELECTRONIC ARTS AVAILABLE: HOW 

I I've always loved a good game of Road 
Rash, from the legendary Genesis 
games to the much anticipated 3DO 
version, which I played until my fingers 
bled. Road Rash 3D, the first bona fide 
incarnation for the PlayStation (sshhh) 
takes everything that's good about 
Rashin' and hangs it in front of your 
face like meat for a Pitbull. The action is 
Dual Analog controlled, with a little 
flicker of the throttle resulting in the 
kind and smoothly animated wheelie; such a nice touch. The 3D 
engine just gives and gives and gives with horizons that you simply 
won't believe - I mean, you can see really far. If anyone complains 
about "pixely graphics," they should be run over because until you 
bail, they're not. The art style {always important in Rash games) has 
been adhered to as well, with rude dudes and nasty girls a-plenty. 
Nothing so nasty as the 3DO's pee-filled bowl, but close. This time 
around, when you choose a bike, you choose a lifestyle! Kaffe Boys 
ride plastic covered Japanese racers, TechGeists ride Sport bikes, 
Dewleys ride Hogs, and DeSades ride Rat Bikes. Careful who you run 
with; it does make a difference. Audibly, this time out EA again 





adheres to the formula, but unfortunately Soundgarden is no longer an up-and 
coming band and Sugar frikkin' Ray (whom I do not dig} is. The rest of the cho- 
sen axe grinders are pretty good, although I would have preferred a more 
diverse mix of artists. I only wish that EA would have sent out preview copies of 
RR-3D. If we would have received it 
before it hit the stores (hint, hint), I could 
have done a meaty spread and showed 
you all of the wicked screen grabs 1 
snapped off... There's always the 
Nintendo 64 version. Seeing the Dewleys 
on the N64 is going to be pretty good. 
They'll probably scare Mario into retire- 
ment. "Hey plumber boy, come 'ere en 
clean my pipes!" f 




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ol' trucks lumber- 
ing around a plethora 
of locations that would 
make Cousin Earl feel 
at home may not seem 
like the type of game 
you want for that new 
accelerator card, but 
trust me, Monster 
Truck Madness 2 is a 
darn fine racing game. 
You don't have to be trailer park 
trash to play, just have the need for 
low speeds. Although the pace is 
slow, Monster Truck is a refreshing 
break from the norm, because it is 
heavily psychics-based and there- 
fore very fun to negotiate. It's deep, 
too, with many locales and a diversi- 
ty of vehicles. The controls (I used a Rage 3D pad) are quick to 
learn and easily assigned, although I found some of the cameras 
a bit overly zealous. In some of the views, you lose sight of your 
truck while the action continues, often leaving you in a ditch (or 
worse) by the time you cycle through. As you can see, the graph- 
ics are riddled with effects and overall are of the superb 
variety. There's generous lighting, realistic weather and 
both day and night races as well. Pretty darn good! f 




■■^■BH 







Well, you certainly can't blame Zombie for not being thorough. 
Almost every aspect of Spec Ops: Rangers Lead the Way is some- 
how based on their actual military counterparts, from the weapons 
you fire to the missions you confront — everything is rooted in real- 
ity. 

And it's these incredibly realistic elements that make Spec Ops 
such a blast to play; I love the fact nearly everything I'm doing 
could, or has, happened. Armed with little more than your basic 
weapons and the element of surprise, it's up to you and a single 
squad-mate to clear out some of the most dangerous hot spots in 
the world. You'll face a heavily guarded chemical plant in North 
Korea, a rescue mission in Afghanistan, and the recovering of 
some data from a fallen plane deep in Russian territory, just to 
name a few of your goals. 

I had a few problems with Spec Ops that kept it from being an 
"A" title. Most notably, the numerous glitches (which might be 
solved by now in patch form) and the confusingly confined jungle 
level, which looked more 
like something out of 
GoldenEye rather than the 
expansive areas I had just 
witnessed before. 

Overall, Spec Ops is rec- 
ommended. It's a very fun 
and playable action title, 
something rare on PCs 
these days... 





3* 









I 




Capcom spin-off 
Wh 00 pie-Camp 
have done what 
Capcom mistak- 
enly have not 
and made a 2D 
game in the vein 
of Ghouls and 
Ghosts. Instead 
of Ghouls we get 
pigs, and 

instead of Sir 
Arthur we get Tomba, a boy who likes to hug, flip and pummel 
them! Here's what's to like: 2D game play in a 3D polygonal envi- 
ronment, collision detection that is as solid as if it were a hand- 
drawn sprite based game, multiple planes of action, lots of RPG 
elements mixed into the gameplay, some truly inspired effects, 
and (finally) some of that old 16-bit challenge. What's not to like? 
Well, the fact that it eventu- 
ally has to end kind of sucks, 
but I'm really hopeful that 
we will see a sequel. I'm cer- 
tainly not holding my breath 
for Ghouls and Ghosts. 
Insure that the species sur- 
vives-buy Tomba today! f 





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Released last year with 
little fanfare in an over- 
crowded market, Total 
Annihilation quickly gath- 
ered awards from gaming 
publications and strong 
support from fans, making 
it one of the most popular 
games of 1997. And now 
Cave Dog, in what could be 
called an expression of gratitude to their dedicated fans, have 
released the first official expansion pack— TA: The Core 
Contingency. 

Rated as just an expansion pack, The Core Contingency is one of 
the best I've ever seen. Namely, it has so much new stuff, most 
companies would just throw in the original engine, and sell it as a 
stand-alone sequel. Total Annihilation fans can expect hundreds of 
new strategies to form with CC, as it introduces 75 new units, 
including an entirely new class of vehicle - the hovercraft. You can 
defend your base with the addition of walls and more powerful 
cannons, expand your control of 
the map with underwater bases, 
and blind your enemies' sight with 
new radar-jamming kbots. And 
then there's the Godzilla-inspired 
Krogoth... 

As a TA fan, Cave Dog's latest 
release was a god-send. We found 
a slight balance problem with one 
of the new units, but aside from 
that, I couldn't have asked for 
anything more. If you have TA, 
you must buy The Core 
Contingency. If you're an RTS fan 
and have never tried out this 
incredible series, this is the per- 
fect opportunity. ^ 






Sports 
games 
garnered 
quite a bit of 
attention at E3 
this year. Many 
events and competi- 
tions at the show were 
specifically oriented 
around sports profes- 
sionals. Sales for the PS 
and N64 prove that the mar- 
ket is ready for virtually any 
endorsed product to 
appear.Large companies are 
responding with mass quantities 
of titles spanning 

all levels of sports. EA and Sony 
offered-up their usual high-quali- 
ty array of sequels, typically 
showcasing vastly enhanced 
engines and At, while Acclaim con- 
tinues to improve their Iguana pro- 
grammed QB Club formula. 
Newbies Fox Inter-active and 
Psygnosis now offer a selection of 
solid titles, and THQ once again 
(for the last time?) delivers a 
couple of hard-hittin' WCW- 
licensed wrestling brawlers. 
Even Sierra has a good 
selection of PC sports 
titles in the works! 
Everyone is joining in. 
Next month we wilt 
i attempt to locate a 
few high-quality 
shots of 

Dreamcast 
Soccer by 
Sega! 



Acclaim 



NFL OBC QQ-N6& 



A sequel to a game that sells 900,000 copies 
seems like a no-brainer, hence NFL 
Quarterback Club 99, now coming for both N64 
and PC. Making use of the hi-res All Star engine, 




WWF Warzone-N6& 



the N64 version should be nothing if not beauti- 
ful. Also coming is WWF Warzone for PS and N64 
featuring the most lifelike, authentic polygonal 
wrestlers yet created. 



« 'f- 1 — ' 


"~V7 "'- 




- Skm"*?: ■ 




WWF Warzone-PSX 



Electronic Arts 




Knockout Kings 



EA is in the rather unenviable position of attempting to hold on to its reputation as the premier 
multi-format developer of sports titles. Beginning with Knockout Kings, their ambition can 
clearly be seen with 38 famous boxers faithfully reproduced in 3D, spanning the likes of 
Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Larry Holmes, and Ray Mancini. EA even hosted the much hyped 
Havoc in Hotlanta at E3 with in game stars Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya. Next up is 
Tiger Woods 99 for PC and PlayStation, starring the biggest golf star ever. With Tiger's input, the 
game looks set to capture a whole new generation of fans. NCAA Football 99 revitalizes the inter- 
active college football scene with an all new high resolution 3D engine. EA even tackles Nascar 
with Nascar 99, featuring 31 actual drivers and their cars and a TV-style commentary by Benny 
Parsons and Bob Jenkins. NHL 99 brings even more body checks and motion captured anima- 
tions. With World Cup 98, they present in com- 
memoration of France 98 their strongest offer- 
ing in the series since the 3DO version and FIFA 
96. Finally, their bread and butter series, 
Madden, gets a shiny 99 and a user friendly 
one button interface. 




Tiger Woqdsog 



Triple PlavoQ 



World Cud 08 



Fox Interactive 



Fox is looking to become a major league 
player in the lucrative sports market with a 
slew of releases set to take their corporate 



I 




Fox Sports HockevPSX 



Fox Soorts Soccer 



mindshare to an all new high. They're covering 
all the bases with entries in golf, soccer, ten- 
nis, hockey, and college basketball. Their Fox 
Sports College Hoops 99 claims to have the 
most realistic computer Al available, with spe- 
cific team styles and logos and an extensive 
replay system. FS Hockey 99 attempts to repli- 
cate an actual Fox broadcast with their award 
winning TV graphics and the Trax Glow Puck 
along with highly detailed rendered arenas. 




Fox Soorts Tennis-PSX 



Three new sports titles from Psygnosis 
were on display at E3. Firstly, Adidas 
Power Soccer 98 made a timely appearance 
to coincide with the fever-pitch World Cup in France. Employing impressive 
stop-motion techniques, variable realistic weather and pitch conditions, 



Psygnosis 




and a massive 10,000 player database, this looks set to. follow in the suc- 
cess of the first Power Soccer game. Also on view was PFA Soccer Manager, 

featuring all the new 98 teams and some really good player management. 
We recommend that all fans proceed to the stadium and don their brown 
sheep-skin coats and start coaching those stars of the future. Pro 18 World 

Tour Golf promises to 
be one of the most 
realistic golf simula- 
tions ever seen, so 
keep watching this 
space. 



Sierra 



Sierra is looking to get back into the sports gaming scene in 
a big way with their '98 product line up. Heading up the list is 
Baseball Pro 99, a title Sierra hopes to be the most realistic PC 



baseball game ever created. The rest of their sports line-up 
looks to be equally as ambitious with similarly grandiose 
plans for Basketball Pro 99, Football Pro 99, and Golf Pro 99. 
Also, an update of their Ultimate Soccer Manager is 
in the works, as is Nascar Racing which will be get- 
ting a 50th Anniversary edition. Grand Prix 
Legends, Trophy Bass 2 and Fantasy Sports Pro are 
also on the way. 




Football qq 



GotfQQ 



Grand Prix Legends 



NASCAR Racing 2 



Trophy Bass 2 Deluxe 



^ The GameDay reputation is golden, and 

3Ully Sony was not about to tarnish it by allow- 
ing anything less than perfection into the 
hands of gamers on the show floor. Shown behind closed 
doors on a on video, the game was not quite ready for 
open play, leaving us even more curious as to what Sony is 
planning to reveal in the final version. Looking better than 
ever, everything has been remodeled giving the players an 
even smoother, faster, and more detailed look, and the sta- 
diums are even more convincing. The new engine Sony is 
touting could potentially compromise the unparalleled 
playability of the GameDay series, but we all know the rea- 
son the game is still being kept under wraps is to make 
sure the competition doesn't see its death coming right 
away. If you want proof that the GameDay team still knows 



what they're doing, take a look at NFL Extreme, an arcade 
oriented, five-on-five lesson in brutality— and incredible 
fun. GameBreaker '99 is yet another football title in Sony's 
lineup, also improved upon by utilizing new 3D player and 
stadium models. While all of Sony's sports titles are being 
tweaked, NBA ShootOut '99 and NHL FaceOff '99 would 
benefit the most if substantial changes were made over its 
predecessors; both are too early to judge. 



jfeT"^ 



NFL Gamedavvv-PC/PSX 





NHL Faceoffgy 



THQ 



THQ continues to operate its money printing machine with the two 
new wrestling titles. WCW/NOW Live for PS features over 16 WCW and 
NOW superstars along with a selection of Japanese grapplers. A create- 
a-wrestler mode allows players to select hair color, tattoos, height and 




other physical attributes alongwith individual moves and rants. There's 
even a 4 player 60 fps mode and tons of hidden wrestlers. WCW/NOW 
Revenge for N64 is the sequel to the huge selling WCW vs Now: World 
Tour. Boasting a high capacity 128 MB cartridge and a greater selection 
of wrestlers, it truly captures the thrill of the 
"sport". Revenge also features a wide variety of 
hidden weapons including trashcans, pipes, chairs 
and tables. Finally, Rumble Pak compatibility 
ensures complete sensory fulfillment for your 
wrestling dollar. 



WCW/NWO Live 




MJfios 
with all 



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C A T I O N S I N (' 




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1 



hen International Superstar 

5eccer first debuted at last 

year's Electronic Entertainment 

Expo, many gamers were taken back 

by the sheer brilliance of the title - 

mere seconds into the game, it was 

explicitly clear Konami had created a 

consummate soccer simulation. 

Even Mr. Miyamoto himself com- 

^mented on the exceptional quality 

She title exhibited. A magnificent 

"Sports game in countless ways, 

International Superstar Soccer 

remains to this day even more than 

the apex of soccer simulations: it's 

arguably one of the finest sports 

"titles to come along in some time. 

M^ybe I love the game a bit too 
4jnuch and am blind to its faults. If 
there are faults to be found, they are 
overly subjective: the goalies are 
like a brick wall, denying nearly 
every shot; analog control is just a 
bit awkward, requiring a certain 
amount of patience to utilize proper- 
ly; the strategies focus too much on 
the arcade side of play. Let's call 
these perceivable problems nothing 
more than design choices used to 
enhance and separate the game 
from the competition - choices that 
have all made their way into the 



sequel, International 
Superstar Soccer '98. 

While the formidable 
learning curve of the origi- 
nal is still present, cranked 
up to a delicious maximum - 
there is a wellspring of tech- 
niques to master - the Al in ISS 
'98 is a bit more forgiving. Or at 
least it seems to be, as the game 
has been enhanced for even bet- 
ter payability. Control is actually 
improved, and the defending, 
passing, and scoring are even 
more intuitive. Players are now 
faster, larger, and can be viewed 
through an increased number of 
camera angles. 

Imbuing the players with more- -~\ 
than 17,000 animations, Konami's 
motion-capturing skills are the pin- 
nacle of sports programming, allow- 
ing us to command the athletes on 
the field in a cornucopia of enter- 
taining situations - getting caught j 
up in a furious exchange near the | 
net is an awesome adrenaline rush, I 
only one of the many moments that I 
defines the unequaled quality of | 
the game. Not bad for a game still 
in progress. 3k 



"Imbuing the players with more than 17,000 
animations, Konami's motion-capturing skills 
are the pinnacle of sports programming..." 
By Brady Fieclfi 



ISSSOC 




/ 



• developer sony • publisher sony • available July 

nfl xtreme 



1H?:« 



?w?r= 



Transfe r inter rupt idj 



By Mike Griffin 




Take an NFL team and player license, throw in a gameplay 
style that's closer to arena football than pro, add sense- 
less brutality, and you have Sony's NFL Xtreme. Midway will 
arrive later this summer with NFL Blitz, a considerably 
toned-down version of its arcade brethren, but for now, 
sports (or action) gamers everywhere can enjoy the 
Gameday development team's latest powerhouse title. NFL 
Xtreme is an extremely fast-moving, tight-playing alternative 
to straight-laced football, accessible to all. 

As mentioned, every NFL team is selectable, each with a 
squad of five hard-hittin' NFL offensive and defensive pros. 
The fields may be simplistic, but each of the 30 NFL stadi- 
ums is fully represented, a detail that was woefully ignored 
in NFL Blitz. With huge 400+ polygon players (avail- 
able in three different sizes) and excellent textures 
and resolution, the game still coasts along at a 
frame-rate that never skips a 30 fps beat. It even 
flirts with 60 (ahh!) every now and then. And the 
player animation is incredibly realistic, the result of 
intense motion capture sessions with hard-core NFL 
pros such as Tim Brown and Jerome Bettis. 

This top-notch animation flows into the gameplay 
experience amazingly well. Defensive backs flail into 
charging running backs, arms spread wide, a crush- 
ing clothesline in wait. A brick-walled shoulder tack- 
le sends wide receivers spiraling through the air, 
over and over, before they land spread-eagled 
n a defeated heap. Clasp at passing 
ankles to violently slam players into the 
turf head first, or haul ass along the 
sidelines using lightning-fast sidesteps 
to avoid straight on charges. Then we 
have the aftermath hits. Say you've 
been hit by an unfortunate glancing 
blow, mere inches from a first down 
on a fourth and one. The whistle's 
blown, the ball is down, the play is 
dead, but you're not ready to let it 
go so easily. Get to your feet, find 
the defensive player who denied 
'ou, and charge into him with mali- 
ious vengeance. The announcers 
scream in protest, a second player 
might disagree using words best spo- 




ken in your home 
(ahem), but who cares? 
Revenge comes quickly, 
and the offending party 
goes down hard! You can't 
help but enjoy a satisfying 
rush, some sort of bizarre 
compensatory buzz, even if 
you're the low man on the 
scoreboard. Oh, and don't 
worry about executing all 
these plays; your efforts are 
complimented by flawless, 
intuitive control. 

NFL Xtreme has very few 
faults. A wider selection of 
"hard" moves would've 
been cool, but the NFL, I 
suppose, has an image to 
maintain. Regardless, Sony 
has delivered precisely what 
they intended: balls-out 
arcade NFL excitement, 
thrilling gameplay, perfect 
multiplayer action. ^2 



3 



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Iff t xtrem offe rs Hutu cimE^syir^np^aw:imo% 
JngMatures.JBlBnUroni a plethora /ifpla yer-chntaM: i 
firistics, or-cram-your own personalis 
collection of torpros. 



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3cliftmhots-ofCastlevaoifrB4 arrive Justin pe) Feast your eyes on'the Koiwmi glory. 



nnfiL 



l I apan: video game mecca of the world. The place from 
J which the lion's snare "of information originates and 
where gaming is- woven into the very fabric of society. 
Years like this one tend to run in cycles. 

I t 

Once again thebalance of power is about to shift as Sega, 

still a major player in the Japanese market, prepares to 

■ spread their wings. In lapan, the Saturn never wavered. It 

<t-has been a successful and viable platform for four years 

and counting. The.announcement of Dreamcast has come 

* at the right time. Soon the industry will start to bustle 

. again as Nintendo and Sony answer the call. These are 

good times, for us as publishers, and for you as potential 

customers. 

In a completely unrelated story, between July 2 and 
August 31, All Nippon Airlines will decorate two of their 
jets scheduled for domestic flights inside and out with 
Poke'rhon starring Pikachu. Cups, seat covers, and even 
the in flight movie - all Poke'mon... 



I love Japan. 



HomiiRimtMS 



Here's a list of games tram which to choose your next hatch of imports. If 
it's not on the list chances are it's either Pactiinko, Horse racing, or nurse... 




pimnmii 

mm 

Sol Divide Mus 



sutuhii 



MB 

Poy Poy 2 Xommi 
Fire Panic Sony 
B.LU.E. Msw 

mm 

Brave fencer Same 
Hanabi Mo 

jwm 

Powerful Pro Baseball Komi 
Silhouette Mirage Treasure 
Over Blood 2 fitter Hill Soft 
M7M 

Star Ocean Second Story Fob 
Hello Charley folx 
Breeding Stud Xonsmi 
Hard Boiled Jacl 

WBMWm 

Justice School Capcom 



JWM 

Sol Oh/Ida ASus 

Sega Ages: Galaxy Force II Sega 

MB 

Packet Fighter Capcom 

Code R Quintet 

mm 

Beep Fear Segi 

MM 

Magic Story Compile 

Lunar 2 f. 

Radiant Sihtergun Ireasore 



Star Soldier Mson 

F-Zero I Hintsnio 

Olympic Hockey Hagano '98 Xonami 

Choro 64 Titan 

Super Robot Spirits fimtestn 

Rakuga kids fcnsmi 

Super Be-Daman Mson 

mtnutiiuffl 

64 Tramp Collection SsSom up/8 




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i.£*. 



(A) Schneider climbs the familiar stairs 
that have opened every Castlevania saga. 





Masm shots of Castlei/ania B4 arrive just in time. Feast your eyes on the Kooami glory. 

Those distant memories of the chunky Tomb Raider hybrid seen in the initial Castlevania 3D ' 
conceptual video are beginning to fade as concept becomes actual design and we begin to 

see a game of Castlevania taking shape. I've never been so frightened for a series as I was when 
"Tffrst saw the video in question. Smeared across every web sight on the globe and featured 
k in stacks of game mags world-wide, it evoked stomach tremors. I just 
^ couldn't accept that any descendant of Belmont would be reduced to 
-walking into room after room confronting blocky beasts in one-on-one 

combat, swinging clumsily over pits and confronting singular characters 

in small, cramped environments. There has not, and never can be, 

mediocre Castlevania - the series is just to legendary. Each epic 

Castlevania saga has summoned euphoric feelings (set 

fourth and maintained for over 10 years) by setting the 

mood through some of the most renowned music in gaming 

history. For its time, even the N ES music brought about noc- 
turnal despair and gothic overtones. It will be a difficult task 

audibly for CV64 following SotN, and visually for Schneider, 

Cornell, Kola, and Carrie, following the awesome presence 
- of Alucard. Honestly, I seriously doubt any singular moment 

in the near future will match that of the first time I controlled 

Alucard. But you never know. 




» <*' V *2 

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(E) A welcome sight to any vampire slayer, clock towers have graced nearly every 
CasUevajjiq adventure. (F) AfterJhe camera zooms in, the gameplay takes on two- 
dimensional characteristics. 



K 



<Xi 









j 



Delving into the actual screens that we've 
obtained this month, we finally catch a glimpse of 
some familiar real estate: The clock tower where 
players will leap among familiar rotating gears, and 
i , the "execution" tower with its swinging blades. 
Where these exist, surely so do flying medusa 
heads and other Castlevania creepers. 
You can play CV64 as one of four selectable char- 
J acters, each with different attributes: Schneider 
Belmont will be the most balanced; Corne 
Reinhart fights hand to hand 
(what, no whip? pass), but 
■»*.— he may transform into a 
wolf; Carrie Eastfield is a 
7 haunting 12 year old mage (poten- 
tial), and Kola is a Lurch-sized 
maniac with a chainsaw (a chain- 
saw?). I suppose the chainsaw 
would depict that CV64 takes 



Jfa 



place-in somewhat modern times. (You know, those vam- 
pires are immortal.) Each character has a unique ending, 
and once selected, you're bonded from beginning to end 
(meaning everyone will play this game four times). Like in 
Castlevania 3, time will pass realistically in the game. 
During the day, weakened vampires will lurk in the shad- 
ows (one way of killing them is by forcing them into the 
light) and travel will be relatively easy, while at night they 
will be at full blood-sucking strength, and if you should be 
so drained, you may actually become a vampire yourself! 
At night, vision will become blurred and hordes of vam- 
pires will appear, forcing you to alter your strategy 
depending on the time of day. Konami reports that you'll 
need to collect items and information to continue on your 
quest as well. C/64 is beginning to sound more and more 
like CV3. We'll have constant updates as they become 
available. In the meantime, get yourself down to EB and 
grab a copy of the new Saturn version of Symphony of the 
Night; they're importing it while supplies last! f 



(G&H) Konami ore sparing no expense when it comes to effects. 
The CV 64 team intend on maxing out the Nintendo 64 's capa- 
bilities. (0 Schneider cracks his whip on a small haunting child 
0) Schneider ponders; how can flowers exist in such a dank 
place as this?! (K) Life before Breath Assure (Q A powered-up 
whip produces a flaming burst. 



9> .>r» 



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- developer konami 







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sure 



An .Interview with company President Mr Meagawfaboutfreasure past, present & Mure. 




y'er since breaking away from Konami in 
1993,'where they produced such leg- 
"ndary 16-bit titles as AxeLoy and 
Castlevania IV for the SNES, and 
Contra "Hard Corps and TMNT: 
The Hyperstone Heist for the 
Genesis, Treasure have produced 
the finest 2D platform games on the plan- 
et. X-he team broke away in search of cre- 
ative freedom ■ Konami wanted sequels (all 
of the above games sold big), but the team 
wanted to evolve and create new gameplay 
expetiences. Treasures first solo effort, 
Gunstar Heroes for the Genesis, launched 
the company to elite status. Gunstar 
stands alone as the best action 
game ever produced for the system 
wide margin (only Dynamite 
Headdy even comes near it). Any action 
r platform gamerworth his salt recognizes 
Treasure as one of the finest development 
houses in the world. They have produced 
ten games to date, all of which are consid- 
ered "A" titles by most: Gunstar Heroes, 
Dynamite Headdy, Yu-Yu-Hakusho, Light 
Crusader, Alien Soldier, and Treasure Land 
for the Mega Drive (Genesis); Guardian 
Heroes, Silhouette Mirage, and now 
Radiant Silvergun for the Saturn; and Yuke- 
Yuke Troublemakers {Mischief Makers) for 
the Nintendo 64. They are my favorite 
developers, as they always manage to 
push the envelope in the areas of character 
design, play mechanics, and the melding of 
action and sound. We had the privilege of 
dropping into their new Tokyo offices 
recently for an interview with company 
president and lead programmer, Mr 
Meagawa. 

Long time Treasure fan, I'd Like to 
asking you about your obvious 





^£J£JSS' 



TREASURE PRESIBENT REVEALS MU 

Mr Meagawa stands proudly next to his compa- 
nies software line-up including both Japanese 
and American versions of Treasure classics. 



;■. 



it 



avoidance of sequels. Dynamite Headdy, 
Gunstar Heroes, Yu-Yu-Hakusho, 
Guardian Heroes, and Yuke-Yuke 
Troublemakers were all remarkable, 
games, but I'm concerned I'll never see 
them again. I know Yuke-Yuke sold very 
well in the US, and while Headdy and 
Gunstar may not have been as success- ' 
ful, this seems due to Sega of America 
not marketing them properly. Will we 
ever see a sequel from Treasure?, ' 

Each game that Treasure develops... Whery 
all the developing is done, it is considered .j 
a complete piece of work. We want to keep 
creating something new rather than devel- 
oping sequels. However, we know that 
many users want us to bring back our 
games from the past. They have been 
requesting us to do so. If our developing 
team thinks that they can create a better 




ff-lfCf«afff Off SHTUm tS 

Treasure's amazing new ST-]/ arcade shooter is Saturn bound. 

(A) Soaring above the clouds. (B) Trademark Treasure 
explosions taken to the extreme. (C) Lay waste on earth \ 
-bound enemies. (D) You wilt need superior skills when 
not powered up for heavy battles (E) An astonishing back 
\ ground effect - one of many. (F & G) Pattern central. The weak 
need not apply. 



Artwork and images ©TREASURE 

e-«.v *■-..• • r 




one "previously 
released, then there is a possibility 
V that .we may develop a*seq\iel. 

I was surprised (but very happy) to 
see Treasure develop an N64 game, 
and now Silhouette Mirage is com- 
ing out on PlayStation. Will you • 
continue to develop on multiple 
platforms or will you work exclu- 



■J^i "- ,111 sively with Sega now that their 64- 

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Hbit hardware has become a reality. 
Basically, we don't intend to develop 
games for any platform in particular. ; 
We are p[atform-free. We will develop 
games for any viable platform. 
You've certainty been exposed to 
Sega's new project for some time, 
but what game are you working 
on? Since I'm pretty sure your 
answer will be that you cannot 
comment, can you at least assure 
us that development is underway 
I and give us an idea of when we 
' might see your first game? 
' Sorry, I cannot comment on anything 
' regarding Dreamcast at this time. 
I understand. I guess we'll just 
have to use our imaginations. How 
many teams are working within 
Treasure, and what are their cur- 
rent projects? 

It really depends on the project. 
Usually about 30 people work on a 
team and there are three teams within the 
company. 

Do the designers, programmers, musi- 
cians, and artists all work together from 
the beginning of development, or are 
certain elements added at certain 
times? 

All of them work together from the begin- 
ning to the end. 

Who decides what direction the compa- 
ny takes and which games you are going 
to develop? Is this done by committee, 
or does one individual make key deci- 
sions? 

I sometimes make decisions regarding a 
game's development and on which plat- 
form it will appear, but basically each 
team's director comes up with an idea and 
then has it approved by me. From there, 



■*~5s* 



-7 _ 



development starts. . u 

Treasure games are always technically 
superior to the competition, and always 
rich with ingenious gameplay and 
astounding visuals. However, this is 
not conveyed properly by American com- 
panies that bring out your titles here. 
Have you ever thought of striking a deal 
with a company that would be more' 
appreciative and market your games 
(and you) better?- .-.- — - -■ 
Rather than b'eing localized improperly, I 
wanted to bring games that'were'creafecT 
in Japan directly to the U.S. market with no 
changes. However, I think that I might 
have to think about this more in the 
future. 

Amen to that. Now that the popularity of 
fighting games is winding down, what 
do you think will be that next 
big evolution in gaming, 
taking into account the 
power of the new 
Sega hardware and 
Nintendo's future 
capabilities. 

I don't know. I can't tell you what the 
future will bring, but I will say that I don't 
think that gaming should be genre orient- 
ed. 

Do you think that 3D gaming will 
completely take over, and that 
2D will disappear? 
I think 3D games are 
already the main- 
stream, but I believe 
2D games will 
remain viable in the 
market. 

Do you think that 32-bit was too short 
lived? 

I think so, but this cannot be helped: 
Will Treasure continue their 2D 
legacy on 64-bit and beyond, or 
will you eventually adhere to 
the predictable 3D 
genre? 

I don't believe that it 
question of 2D vs. 3D. I wiU 
always select the most suitable 
format depending on the game-we are 
designing. 




mmmm& 






an samr 



Saturn classic Silhouette Mirage makes its PlayStation debut shortly... 

(A) Whenever SH gets in a fix, she reaches into her bag of tricks. (B) One of the most 

- — . memorable battles in recent 2D history. The combination of action and music is inspir- 

rik. .. " JEgJo say the least. (C) A crazy game within the game. (D & E) Treasure surrounds 

their Saturn games with high quality, traditionally animated cinemas. 







■*•>.'!. 



■A 



/republic 




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— -mentt? « 

Sorry,. I cannot an§&fcthat 

Sorryil had to.fry^Whaido you think of the 

Nintendo 64, bottom a technical stand- 
point and its failf^iin'Japan wcsus huge 
success in the US?» , ( 

Simply, I th-ink it's-fen issue of l^he quality 
and Quantity o£.sofy^reavaifabie\ '" ' - 

Aboot Mischief Miners ■"'**' 

Mischief Makers is considered to be the 
2D game to beat on the Nintendo 64 here 
in the US. Wha^-team did Yuke Yuke? 

The director waS4lArii; he di4all the plan- 
ning and engaging programming. I was 
the rr^ain programmer for the game. 
What have Nami and team done before, 
and what are they working on now? 
Nami did Gunstar Heroes, Mischief Makers, 
and Alien Soldier. Alien Soldier was and is 
a great game, but unfortunately we could 
not find anybody who could promote and 
releas.e the game ; properly in the US. 
Currently, he is' t :working on Radiant 
Silvergun. 

How did you manage to squeeze so much 
gameplay and special effects into 
Mischief Makers and still manage excel- 
lent music on cartridge? 
We didn't do anything special, just crafty 

- -compression. One thing, though. By using 
rotation, filters, and alpha blending, we 
tried to make the game's few effects look 
as though they were a lot more. The most 
challenging aspect of development was to 
set up a system for N64 development, and 

* the overattshape of the game. We spent a 
lot of. lime 0/1 trial and error. 



we get the chance— we-weul^FluTe-to do ; 
Something with Nintendo. £ 3 

I. ft _* *■■ ■■* 



About Dynamite Headdy z* Mzri 

I think Dynamite Headdy was and Is a 
brilliant concept, and one of the coolest 
characters ever. Have you ever thought 
of making Headdy in 3D? In fact, the box 
art in Japan depicted such a scene. Is 
this simply not possible Jtwitrf 1 current y 
technology, or are you doni with Headdy . ^ 
forever? ' k * J "J 

I don't think it would be difficult, but I don*t-* 
have any plans for Headdy in- the future. t 
Are the creators of Dynamite Headdy 
still at Treasure? What are they working, 
on now? , 

I did the main programming for the game,- 
and the director was Kimura. He is current- 
ly working on Silhouette Mirage. 

About Booster Heroes 

Are you aware of how legendary Gunstar 
Heroes became among avid game play- * 
ers in the US? 

The sales of the game were good, so I 
always assumed that the ga^me was popu- 
lar among enthusiast users. But no ,one 
has ever confirmed that; I haven't seen it 
with my own eyes. I guess | didn't realize ' 
how popular the game was. f • ' 

It set a benchmark on the Genesis that 
was never matched; I myself play it 
often still, as do many of my friends. You 
know, a sequel would do huge business 
in the right hands. Is there any hope? 
For the time being, I don't have any plans ' 
for Gunstar 2, but I will think it over- in the j 
future. 

That's all we ask. Thank you so much for 
your time and for making some of the 
greatest games ever. 
You are very welcome, and thank you. f 






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fDj 77ie familiar sword slash- 
ing action from King's Field 
should keep From fans happy. 
(£) A comprehensive menu 
system enables you to keep 
check of all your currently 
equipped items at a glance. 
(r) Creatures attack in large 
numbers, far more than in 
King's Field. , 



* "AWL".' 



(A) Strange animals and folk populate the dungeons and give important clues to aid your quest. (B& C) With 
■ superioranimation, the monsters are^nucp more detailed than in previous From Software games. » o~ 

HETIffflf MP KIMMMmS F=KELD± 

Not likely! Wm 'Software unleash 7 their latest UPS with an all-new story M graphics engine! 

he engine was a bit lethargic, the story was rather irk- 
some, and the characters were without a face, but From 

Software's King's Field series still managed to immerse many 

of us in a highly memorable role-playing experience. And 

although their upcoming title, Shadow Tower, is not .a next 

chapter in the series, it certainly looks like one, and the tale 

it tells will likely appeal to its many fans. 
There is a long and inscrutable history behind the Shadow 

Tower. Many years ago, a once flourishing kingdom named 

Eclipse stood where the tower is now erected, but without 

warning, a baneful force sucked the walled city into oblivion, 

leaving nothing but a gaping hole in its wake. Those who sur- 
vived the ordeal rebuilt the city and erected a tower over the 

hole in hopes of squelching the mysterious wails of anguish 

that emanated from within it. But unbeknownst to them, 

what they built was a bedeviled prison for the lost souls of 

those who disappeared. Players assume the role of an 
~ * 'adventurer who must scour the mysterious Shadow Tower of 

its demonic sentinels and free the lost souls that they hold 

captive. 
From the early shots we have seen, Shadow Tower's visual 
appeal seems to have matured since the King's Field series, which 
givesius plenty of reason to be intrigued by its potential. The tex- 
tures seem much more detailed and the character and enemy 
designs appear to be quite intricate. Hopefully, the smooth anima- 
tion will be intact as well. 

Where Shadow rower will surely depart from the King's Field for- 
mula is in its "Creature Battle" mode. As you defeat the tower's 
inhabitants, you can save them onto your memory card and use 
them to fight against a friend in an arena-based fighting game. This 
addition is obviously an attempt to prolong the game's life span 
and to appeal to a larger audience, but until we see it in action, we 
are not sure how much value this mode will add. Even so, this title 
looks to be one to get excited about. Q 



IN THE PIPELINE 



These hot titles arrived just as we went 
to press, so coverage is minimal. Expect 
the details in next month's World 
Republic. 

POCKET FIGHTER acwm 

Received quite literally hours before 
going to press, this impressive Capcom 
conversion comes kung-fu fightin' to the 
PlayStation in style. Using a simplistic 3- 
button configuration, the PlayStation 
version is arcade perfect All the charac- 
ters are included as welt as a rather nice 
taster for Rival Schools. Look for full 
exposure next issue. 




Similar to their popular Megami Tensai 
series of dungeon RPGs, Atlus' latest 
PlayStation release will have you explor- 
ing the passageways beneath a futuris- 
tic Tokyo once again - but much unlike 
the previously mentioned Tensai games, 
you won't be battling the beasts that 
reside there yourself. Look for a full 
review of Dark Messiah next issue. 





• developer/publisher from software * available June 25 



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(G) Detailed enemies and more realistic environments are the reason this 
game had been in development two years. (10 Notice the enhanced lighting 
and shadows. 



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WORTROmW 

After hours of gameplay, we sim- 
ply riad to rate these interesting 
import PlayStation titles! 

SUMY WIS 6f Arc sm mts 

This surprisingly good title from 
tittle known developers Arc 
System Works delivers very solid 
and fun 2D fighting action. On a 
system not renowned for its 2D 
capabilities. Guilty Gear is 
impressive in its animation and 
generally chaotic appearance, 
with the well designed charac- 
ters flinging all manner of mad 
attacks around on screen. -i- B+ 




Any qame starring Pamela Anderson can't he all that bad... 

Ready for importation and l#jS. PS 
insertion, here's a look at Takara's 
"new type gun action duel," Crisis City, 
the company's latest PlayStation foray. I'll 
say one thing about Takara: they certainly 
keep it interesting. From the peculiar 
world of Choro-Q (pint sized cars, planes 
and boats) to the infamous Toshinden tril- 
ogy (you either love it or hate, I dig it) they 
certainly revel in creative license. With 
Crisis City they've taken the action shoot- 
er genre to a new happy place by-incorpo- 
rating rendered backgrounds with" polygo- 
nal obstacles and enemies. While a bit lacking in play 
mechanics (you can roll and auto target, but not from 
a ducking position) Crisis City delivers on ingenuity, 
hard-core action, and 
pyrotechnics. You can 
explode grenades and 
flip cars into the air, Jon 
Woo style, until they dis- 
integrate and almost 
everything catches fire, 
creating an almost Hong 
Kong action movie look 
and feel. Adding to the 
replayability, the game 
play is decidedly differ- 
ent depending on which 
agent you choose (both 
male and female charac- 
ters range in speed, fire- 



HI 




power, and defense capa- 
bilities), and at your dispos- 
al are vs. story and time 
attack modes of play. Crisis 
City is both dual shock (and 
this one's a rumbler) and 
analog compatible as well. 
So if you're in the mood 
for a little counter espionage shooting mania, join 
forces with Ralf Hopkins, Ewan Franerlly, Alicia Taylor, 
Gerard Baker, Christie Brosnan, Ruth Grant, and (you -. 
gotta' love it) Pamela Anderson - and 
have it Japanese style! Oh, and by the 
way, yes, Pam is the one with blonde 
hair and big... er, guns, f 

c 



Scare's latest title tails short of the usual standani me have come to expect. 

s 

To put it simply - Soukaigi is a great attempt at a unique action game, plagued with 
horrid graphics and control, saved solely by an amazing soundtrack. Not exactly what 
I would hope for from a title with Square's label on it. 

Yukes, a team known for little more than Hermie Hopperhead and a few wrestling titles 
had a great idea: Make a fast-paced game that combined RPG and action elements in a 
realistic 3D world, sort of like a modern Secret of Mario. Square apparently liked this 
plan, and not only attached their name to the project but also lent one of their most tal- 
■ ented musicians. I wonder if the product was as disappointing for Square as for me? 
In fact, the only real reasons I'm still playing Soukaigi are the occa- 
sionally enjoyable boss encounter and the hope of hearing new music 
rjacks - not exactly the motivation Yukes was looking for, I'm sure. 
» If I had more space for this review I'd go into the 
stfory-line aspects, the different 
characters you can control 
and adjustable abilities, but I 

uess that will have to 
wait until we cover the 
American version. Not 
thatwe can ever expect 
one.., 










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lived reign as, uh (well 
V ok so it never reigned), 
whatever it was, there lived 
a game by the name of 
Tempo. It was dn odd (real- 
ly odd) platformer that had 
brilliant animation, lots of 
color soaked hand drawn 
art, huge and largely stupid 
rendered bosses, and some 

animated backgrounds that evoked both signs of brilliance and the 
need to barf. Music was the motif, and the characters were a 
humanoid and insect hybrid. For some odd reason, I took a liking to 
Tempo (as I often do with quirky, off-beat imports), and now I'm prob- 
»* . » ably one of the only gamesters in the US who gives a rat*s ass about 
the sequel - Super Tempo. The fact that Red made a sequel at all 
makes me feel somewhat justified in my methodology. Red's prior 
4 , ^ endeavors, Bonk, Legendary Axe II, and Lords of Thunder are among 
my favorite TurboGrafx games, and while the latter two have little in com- 
mon with Tempo, there are vague similarities with Bonk, if not only in the 
utterly wacky nature of both titles. Super Tempo mixes it up quite a bit 
more than the original with elements of adventure and some light shoot- 
ing, but it's still a platformer at heart, and a good one at that. Besides 
being gorgeous to look at. Super Tempo features excellent animation and 
i a bold sense of. humor, making it not only a stand out import, but a high- 
ly collectable one as well. And besides enemies that pee at will (reveal- 
ing stumpy little cock 'n balls), the overall on screen antics (from resur- 
recting farm animals to morphing into testosterone charged action 
heroes) will take you back to the days when Bonk turned into a fairy and 
kissed his enemies to death. A certain scene in Dj Boy comes to mind as 
well, but there is no eloquent way to describe it. I highly recommend 
Super Tempo to every Saturn zealot who frequents the import trade, but 
you'd better hurry - they didn't produce many and for some reason US 
importers, for the most part, underestimated Super Tempo's appeal, f 





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Super Afragon- The Motion Picture 

English Dubbed Version 

120 min. 

Available now from A.D.Vision 

Reviewed by Bryn Williams 

Claiming to be from Japan's greatest science fiction 
novel comes the story of Super Atragon. A bizarre and 
often surreal film, this offers a very unique combination 
of modern day sea warfare and alien-subterranean fac- 
tions with psychic and kinetic powers beyond those of 
the human race. By venturing to provide protection 
from an enemy beneath the Earth's crust, human scien- 
tists and naval officers use a captured comet's energy 
to construct a monstrous submarine called Ra. At the 
time of the Hiroshima bomb in WWII, this secret Japan- 
ese ship was lost and presumed gone, thus leaving the 
Earth vulnerable to attack from the subterraneans. Fifty 
years have passed and strange events are taking place 
at both of the Earth's magnetic poles. Japan's naval 
forces investigate, only to be attacked by a mysterious 
black monolith emitting microwave radiation from the 
South Pole. Soon after the attack, the people of Earth 
realize that they are all doomed without the protection 
of the lost "Ra" attack vessel. The story is extremely 
absorbing and clever, if not a little disjointed, but 
appreciation must be forthcoming for the originality of 
the film. Animation techniques are quite old school, but 
the dubbed version stands up well with recent counter- 
parts. A top notch film overall. B 



V 



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Darkstalkers Revenge Vol. 2 

I English Dubbed Version 
! 60min. 

Available August from VIZ Video 
i Reviewed by Bryn Williams 

After the initial introduction of 
, the main Darkstalker's we find 
! Donovan being followed by 
the sinister child Anita. Her 
] fascination with Donovan's 
morals and dark lineage are a 
primary factor in the animated 
series' plot structure. With the 
introduction of Hsien-Ko and 
her sister Lin Lin, we find the 
human populous celebrating 
the temporary defeat of Dim- 
itri and the Dark ones. The 
girls are Darkstalker hunters 
^ (much the same as Donovan), 
a and are intrigued by tales of 
1 the man with the large sword. 
Meanwhile, the cursed armor- 
demon known as Bishamon 
has surfaced and a mighty 
bloody battle occurs between 

Donovan and Bishamon. The 
n 

outcome is surprising, but 



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darker times are afoot with the 
ever menacing Phobos robots 
and their erstwhile unknown 
leader, Pyron, making plot-line 
tremors. All this development 
makes for an exciting (if slightly 
dialogue-based) episode, and 
this only adds to the suspense. 
The animation is superb, with 
vivid colors and smooth motion 
continuing in the vein of the 
first volume, and the dubbing is 
of the usual over-zealous type! 
Gripping stuff. B+ 



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Voltage Fighters! Gowcaiser: The Movie 

English Language Dialogue 
\ 90 min 

Available August 4th From Central Park Media 
I Reviewed by Dave Halve rsok 

Whether or not you've followed the series thus far and regardless of 
I your opinion on the game itself, Voltage Fighters! Gowcaiser: the Movie 
is a slice of anime you won't want to miss. It's got all the elements of a 
choice title: excellent character design, flashes of brilliant animation accompanied by good OAV 
standards throughout, and a story that encompasses a good mix of drama and action along with 
ample doses of character development. Dialing into the sci-fi genre as much as action and fight- 
ing, Gowcaiser takes place in the 21st century and looks it, blending futuristic with retro in a very 
convincing manner. Otherworldly beasts look menacing, wielding powerful magic - the action 
sequences are just excellent, very fluid and well acted. I was also surprised by the quality of dub 
- it's probably U.S. Manga Corps best. And finally, if you're new to Gowcaiser, well, let's just say 
that the female anatomy is celebrated throughout in a big and very jiggly way. Highly recom- 
mended! But I don't know about that apple/garlic tea. Gross. B+ 



* 




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Princess Minerva 

English Language Dialogue 

45 min. 

Available now from ADV 

Reviewed by Dave Halverson 

Princess Minerva centers around the rebellious 
royalty of a princess (often naked) of the 
same name. She's a handful alright - even her 
handlers can't contain her wild spirit. When 
the king finds out she's entered in a gladiator 
competition, all hell breaks loose... in a man- i 

ner of speaking (things don't break loose too 
much in PM comparison to other mature anime). There's not an 
overly deep story here, or all that much drama to speak of. Howev- 
er, there is some good character development; in fact, many of the 
cast are more interesting and better designed than the princess 
herself. Character design itself is rather simple, adhering almost 
too much to the standard human form for my tastes. The overall 
subject matter consists of a mix of light hearted - almost comedic - 
girl power, and mild sorcery; you won't find any flying penetration 
and the like. The Mature Audiences label refers to mildly animated 
naked boobs and little more - I'm surprised it's labeled as such. The 
dubbing is very good for the most part, 
although I did detect one out of place New 
York accent, and when . 
Princess Minerva sings, A 
I cover the dog's ears. I 1 









hope its supposed to ttmbt 
sound that bad. In the ■ 
end. Princess Minerva 
is good anime, although 
a bit light around the 
edges for the hard core % "' 
action/adventure 
seeker. C 






1 



Silent Service 

English Language Dialogue 

100 min. 

Available now from Central Park Media 

Reviewed by Bryn Williams 

Silent Service appears to be a radical breakaway 
from the average anime plot-line and creative style. 
Borrowing heavily from cinematic titles such as 
Hunt For Red October and Crimson Tide, director 
Ryosuke Takahashi submerges you into political 
intrigue and betrayal as Japan and the USA com- 
bine forces to create the worlds most powerful 
nuclear submarine. The Seabat (later renamed the 
Yamato) has the capability to be the most destruc- 
tive force on the planet. Under the command of the 
Japanese Captain Kaieda, the vessel is comman- 
deered, causing the two super powers to become 
very nervous. With the rogue sub on the loose, 
both countries are at the mercy of Kaieda and know 
that the sub must be recaptured. With the ever pre- 
sent threat of nuclear conflict in the forefront of 
their minds, the governments are in chaos over a 
potentially lethal situation. 
This seemed like a strange 
theme for an anime flick 
and although it contains 
some good character 
development, you can't 
help but feel that it doesn't 
really go anywhere. Aver- 
age animation with real life 
plot didn't really appeal, 
but it's by no means a poor | 
film. A strange choice. C 



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Peacock King 
Spirit Warrior: 

. Festival of the Ogres' 

I Revival 

English Language Dialogue 

55 min. 

Available Now From Central Park Media 

Reviewed by dave Halverson 

It all started when a young mystic, 
Tomoko, impeded Siegfried von Mittgard 
plans to re-ignite Nazi domination by fin- 
ishing an occult ceremony that Hitler 
began before his death. Peacock King: 
Spirit Warrior and its Mystic Defender-Uke 
themes instantly attracted me. A melding 
of dark stories and ancient Japanese 
myth, such subject matter is part of what 
makes anime so interesting. Of course 
without proper voice acting, character 
design, and animation, it still goes on the 
rainy day pile. Spirit Warrior 1 & 2 had all 
of these elements, but Festival of the 




Black Lion 

English Language Dialogue 
50 min. 

Available Now from ADV 
Reviewed by Bryh Williams 

Director Go Nagai {Cutie Honey & Devil- 
man) brings us a film that sees the evil 
ninja overlord Nobunaga Oda laying 
waste to feudal japan and, in particular, 
the Iga Mie ninja clan. His army of war- 
riors are furnished 
I w\ with strange 
technologies and 
weapons of 
destruction, cer- 
tainly out of place 
with the 1580's 
time-line. Perhaps even worse still is the 
fact that he has managed to employ the 
talents of a truly despicable warrior 
called Ginnai Doma. Ginnai strikes fear 
and terror into the hearts of all who dare 




Lisa Ortiz, the voice behind 
Slayers' Una Inverse and Ellis from 
Toshinden (among others), gets up 

close and personal with our own 

Melanie Melton... 



How did you train lo become a voice actress' 
" Well. I went to school lot theatre, and I just graduated last May 



All tne tv series, alltheoavs... 

Everything. I had a great Iriend. and we would just sit do, 



I just loved anything I could get my hands on. 






w« 



Ogres Revival barely squeaks out two of 
the three. U.S. Manga has recruited voice 
talent from Sot Bianco, Bubbtegum Crisis, 
and Armitage III (among others) for the 
US dub, resulting in a good overall (if not 
a bit too mundane) translation. The story 
line and overall direction are good as 
well, with plentiful evil spirits, wise old 
ancients in flowing gown, protoplasm 
burning holes through fat red and green 
ogres, and there's also a suitable climax 
to this chapter's revelations. Unfortunate- 
ly, though, the animation and shading 
quality have slipped dramatically. This 
being a major part of what drove it all 
home for me, I find it a shame, especially 
given the series promise. We'll review 
Castle of Illusion next month. Start chant- 
ing for the quality to 
t come back now. 

ic 



- '"5 • 

mm 




challenge him, and when our hero, Shish- 
maro Teno of the Iga ninjas, falls wound- 
ed in combat with Ginnai, a positively vis- 
ceral hatred arises between the two. Gin- 
nai is not what he appears to be, having 
been violated and tampered with by 
Nobunaga, and for this reason, Ginnai is 
bent on the destruction of all other nin- 
_ jas. Featuring 
some outra- 
geous bloody 
battles and mar- 
tial arts skills, 
Black Lion 
offers you an 
average Ninja Scroll-type plot and action 
sequences. Unfortunately, though, the 
ending is weak (and ridiculous), and thus 
leaves you wishing for more story and 
less violence. The animation is of a rela- 
tively high standard and it really scores 
with the awesome carnage, but other- 
wise, it's humdrum stuff all the way. C+ 




— : - ked b) i lol .." . 
know 5 exciting 1 I'm like Lisa Orti? 
3 you gc at 
"nee? 
} Yeah, usually I like io watch the original 1 like tc s 



" ~Uy. I mean its the same mm 

before nana, you want to know * 

bit hoaky but I think it's fun. Hopefully people watching know the 

get connected to the chara 

AR. Regarding the issue, lire me origin 

keep the original feel to it or do you add your personal flavor or 

you think you improvise. 

Lisa: You can't help it. You can't help but adding your personal 



l think that's fine, I'm treated as a character. Hopef 
I put into it. I'm bound to change a little bit. I hopi 
The most important thing is the character' 
You have to be true to that. I love the serk 



awhile, it's like Ihey are your Irie 



Welcome the newest member of the Anime Republic! 
ADV's Rod Peters & wife Vesta welcomed Nico Anthony 
into the real world on 5-29-98. Our sincere congratula- 
tions go out to Rod (who's a great guy by the way) and 
Vesta. The future of anime is in your hands. Nico! 



1 a\ \ \ \mtmm 

' The morion Pictunj „/ Hl/MBiffiMlMf^ 



ILJDoij 

t 1 1 1 



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Una and Nahga ha\ 
hands full in ADV's t.^., 
lish Dubbed Slayers Movie! 






(B @ ® 





'Teudal Japan - Swords, Sorcery <5x> Jionor 

Seven Volumes - approx. 60 min. running time 

DUBBED VHS - $ 24.98 each 

SUBTITLED VHS - $ 29.98 each 

LASERDISC - $ 39.98 each 

Call Pioneer Customer Service et 800-421-1621 for more 

information or check out our website at 

www.pioneeranimation.coni 



and otter fin* vktao ■ 



TOMR sunco/ist % 

nronnnn motion picture company ^ 

nCliUHUU WKNOWHOvmS [I fj 1J J ] j j 



C 1993 AIC • PIONEER LDC, INC. 



Cfi PIONEER 

The Art of Entertainment 








«ra» 



anime top ten 





ADV FILMS 



top rzsie niuxme 



T Ml 



i. Evangelion 13 




M 




GRMERS' REPUBLIC 
RERDER5TOP FIVE 



2. Dragon Ball Z 
viz 

3. Ranma 1/2 



B. uuuans 

1. Slayers Software Sculptures 

2. Evangelion 13 AD Vision 

3. Darkstalkers VIZ 

4. El Hazard Pioneer 

5. My Neighbor Totoro Fox 






m. neiton 

1. Slayers Software Sculptures 

2. Pat Labor Pioneer 

3. Dragon Ball Z Pioneer 

4. Princess Minerva AD Visior 

5. Darkstalkers VIZ 




To enter the ADV/Gomers' Republic Top Five 
Anime Contest, simply send us a list of your 
favorite five anime, new or old. Make sure to 
include your name, address and age and 
send it to: Gamers' Republic Top Five Anime, 
32123 Lindero Canyon Road, suite 218, 
Westlake Village, CA 91361. First prize is 
Shinji's EVA-01 (which stands over 20" 
inches tail) and Evangelion 1 through 13!! 
Second Prize: Any two ADV releases and an 
ADV T-Shirt. Third Prize: Any 1 ADV release. 
All three winners receive a GR subscription. 
For your free ADV catalog (and this is one 
cool catalog) write to: AD Vision, 5750 
Blintiff #217, Houston, TX 77036. 



oroniblted. not responsible far lost or I , | 
damaged luggage, objects in mirror B |^» ^Ml 
may be closer than they appear " 1 J^9 







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^fOR THIS DROP-DEW 
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Dam**™* vehku ^ the Black 

35EK =sU 
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Expert difficulty- 

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N.NTENOO 64 CONrROU" VEHICLE 

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Fight as Kyo from KOF 94 

Choose Kyo at the character select screen and press Start plus Triangle to fight as the 
King Of Fighters 94 version. 

Activate Orochi characters 

Press Li + L2 + Ri + R2 at the character selection screen in any game mode. 
Alternatively, press Start + Li + R2 at the character selection screen. Orichi New 
?am, Orochi Lori and Orochi Leona will be selectable next to Shingo. 

Fight as Orochi 

Enable the above code. Select versus or practice mode. Press Li + L2 + Ri + R2 at the 
character select screen again. 



,,.., Downx2,Left, 
Level sever R2 and press Up». 

Down* 2 Left- 

Rlg ht, Left, Right, Square, 
entry. 

Hold U and P re« 
Triangle at th- 



1IS 1 



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All you freak left handed people out there can finally play 
Climax's awesome Hot Shots Golf with the proper "handedness". 
Check out the cool reversed course code as well. Now you can 
play Bizarro Hot Shots Golf. 

Right or left handed golfer 

When choosing your character, hold Li and press X to choose a left 
handed golfer. Right handed is default. 

Mirrored courses 

Highlight a course on the course selection screen and hold Li and L2 
and press X. 



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TH/A7- WRAPS UP CODEX REPUBLICA FOR THIS MONTH. LOOK RIGHT 
HERE FOR SOME KILLER POST-E3 CODE ACTION NEXT ISSUE! 





// 



r xatrix • publisher activision • available now 



As we all know, Stroggs like their bases colored brown, and the four enemy 
installations you'll be storming through in 77? e Reckoning don't disap- 
point; it's as if your marine's helm-cam has malfunctioned and only displays in 
sepia-vision. This over-abundance of tan textures may be a little much, but any 
Quake 2 player needn't worry as the spectacular level design and on-going 
fraughtness of the mission more than make up for a lack of diversity in the 
polygon wall-coloring department. Developers Xatrix couldn't stray too far 
from the id blueprints, and to their credit they've spruced up their Strogg 
bases with excellent lighting effects (including caverns with blue lighting!), 
pipes and an intricate level structure that'll have you zipping between areas on 
a quest off world to the true horrors contained on the Strogg's Moon base. 

I'll dispense with the storyline, and instead dwell on the gameplay features. 
Playing through The Reckoning on "Hard" took me around 12 hours, and the 
whole experience was more than enjoyable. The puzzles present are never too 
cunning, the enemies are as unpleasantly positioned as ever (you'll almost get 
used to being gunned down from behind once you step into a new arena and 
a Gladiator ambush takes place), and the majority of the secrets involve freak- 
ishly-timed jumping onto boxes. This is all standard fare, but polished never- 
theless; the actual levels rival the very finest home-made levels available on 
the internet. However, there's a couple of problems I experienced when trudg- 
ng my way through The Reckoning... 

quake 2 v 

■ The Reckoning J J 

Firstly, I was a little disappointed with the lack of new enemy encounters. 
True, there's three different types of Guard to gib into small fleshy chunks, and 
a number of foes you'll be reacting a little differently to 
("ooh, Iron Maidens! Hold on, that missile's HOMING 
IN!! Glurk!"), but little in the way of new intelligent life. 
Despite the difficulty setting, the so-called Repair Bots 
never get close enough to reactivate fallen Strogg 
deviants (thus rendering them useless), but the real 
problems lie with the Gekks. They animate superbly, 
shambling and leaping like some crazed ape with more 
teeth than a Ferrari gearbox, but I found major collision 
detection problems to ruin the excellent animation. Gekks leap on top of each 
other and become stuck (floating in the air), and when they die in water, they 
have the tendency to "flick" into an upright position. These Gekks also throw 
yellow matter at you. This causes a horrible flaskback for me. You see, 1 went 
on a school visit to a zoo when I was seven and upon entering the gorilla enclo- 
sure, I narrowly missed receiving a roughly-fashioned ball of excrement to the 
face, courtesy of a bored-to-the-point-of-insanity chimp. And now, the night- 
mares have returned. But I digress... 

Weapons: That's what cheered me up to no end, as three new pieces of killing 
ordinance are available, and two of them are amusingly efficient to utilize in 
both Deathmatch and Normal play. The Phalanx Particle Cannon creates two 
magnesium slugs that cause excellent splash damage, but are rather slow fir- 
ing, and act like slightly less damaging rockets. Then there's the Trap, a 
portable gibbing machine and a marvelous device for pissing your opponent 
off in multi-player. Creating a vertical gravity storm, this literally sucks foes, 
gibs them and creates a chicken-tasting, finger-lickin' health ball in the 
process. Unfortunately, the last of the new weapons may poke fun at John 
Romero's theater of operations, but Unreal already has a ricocheting weapon 
which not only fires faster, but doesn't have projectiles shaped like triangular 
ravioli. Annoyingly damaging in multi-player, though. 
The appealing price and Deathmatch levels justify this add-on, so as long as 
you can cope with a moderately easy mission, some glitching Gekks, an 

appallingly easy-to-destroy final 



OESIEflEU SIIIGLE Rf}D DERTHmPTEH LEVELS 
BLITCHV GEKKS flflD QUITE UIHIW CULOK SEHEt'lES 




boss and all that brown, you're sure 
to be excellently entertained with 
this romp into Stroggos and 
beyond... 9 



h. 






ground zero 

w The second mission pack 

rip your foes apart in close combat! 



For those who think all these Mission Packs with extra weapons 
are going to make fragging more hectic are going to have even 
more to worry about thanks to Rogue (creators of Dissolution of 
Eternity for Quake) and their stab at 15 levels of Strogg-based car- 
nage. What we're salivating about are the weapons. First on our 
st is the Ripsaw. Evoking the spirit of Doom, this close assault 
chainsaw should provide some amusing carving of limbs and chis- 
eling of offal amid the long range rocketing we've been used to. 
There's the Disruptor, which blasts forth a ball of dark matter that 
tracks incoming enemies, the ETF Rifle, a take on the machine gun 
that unloads armor-piercing lava nails into soft squishy sinew, an 
anti-matter bomb which detonates with a mammoth explosion 
causing splash damage so horrific you'll be peeling your enemies 
off the walls, and finally the Plasma Beam. This Railgun variant 
produces an instant beam of death which hits the furthest wall, is 
then swung around spasmodically, and cuts through anything 
fleshy that falls in its path. Players facing this in Deathmatch 
should also be warned that the discharge produces an energy 
wave that can knock you a few feet in any direction. 

Of course, we've not covered this Mission Pack in any real deta 
yet (we're waiting for more impressive screenshots), so I'll only 
mention the new power-ups such as the Sphere (producing three 
different functions such as a Defender ball that attacks the last 
critter to maul you) and the Proximity Mines. Let's just say, howev- 
er, that Deathmatches will never be the same again. So many ways 
to gib, and so little time... And real gibsters know that Mission 
Packs are only good for weapons and Deathmatch levels! ® 




Fraggw through the world of Q2.. 

A new level, visible weapon support and more for v3,15! 



d's latest upgrade includes a number of key features to ensure 
that your fragging remains as fervent as ever. Most important- 

ly, visible weapons support is in; when waiting to join your game, 

the client autobinds the weapon to the current player model. 

Anyone not utilizing the vwep patch is shown in the game with a 

rather attractive semi-transparent cube around their lower half. 

Also included is a new Deathmatch level (known as Reckless 

Abandon), designed primarily for one-on-one Deathmatching. 
Those with modems should check the connection speed set-up 

which seems to improve net performance to no end. Also check 
the Autodownload support, as every world map (with 
textures), models, pre-cached sounds and most (but not 
all) player model weapons and skins are downloaded prior to the g 
protection to halt nasty repeated messages is in, as i 

uncouth players. Unfortunately, there's one glitch we've seen using 3.15: 
Occasionally, when you frag but not gib an opponent, a ghost image of the fallen play* 
er will warp to their next starting point, allowing unscrupulous players to follow their 
quarry in confined levels. Something to fix 3.16, me thinks. 



festival. Flood ' " f l|^ 

a Fliterban to halt nasty, .'J,, ils™' — 
. .. *('-^»J 




Riven 

Virgin Records 



Road Rash 3D 



\me4tBUM\ 



Travelling somewhere between the outer rim of the 
unconscious and the inner sanctum of a dream state, 
the music of Riven invites the listener on a mystic 
journey through spaces of darkness. Strange and 
and bleak melodies 
itional sounds, invok- 
ing an aura of mystery. Riven's quiet and somewhat 
brooding ambience may be an awkward or slightly 
ineffectual listen for some, and the music tends to 
collapse in its lack of variation at times, yet there is an 
appealing current to the sounds that calls us back for 
more. You won't be playing this music in the middle of 
traffic, but you might enjoy its soothing company 
while exploring a new book or poem. Except for such 
moments of introspection and relaxation, the music is 
somewhat out of place. C+ 
Bryn Williams 



An overly stuffed pickup truck full of undesirables 
whizzes by a scantily clad female, its inhabitants 
howling like rabid dogs. As it fades from sight you 
hear "check out that sweet hard tail, now that's a pig 
for the open road!". A crude remark? No, they're lis- 
tening to the Road Rash 3D soundtrack, an array of 
tuneage lifted from the blood soaked tar of the game 
like a dry scab with a loose corner. Some choice 
selections from this "must own mix" include the 
techno meets Chili Peppers-like People Mover from 
Full on the Mouth, the Billy ldol-if-he-was-really- 
drunk Babylon, or Temptation by the Tea Party. Or, 
perhaps Sponge Cookie, a surfer dude/monster 
mash-like HI' diddle from The Mermen. The odd punk 
tune is great for the old eye-hand coordination as 
you flinch at light speed for the skip button, but 
other than these early 80s l-wish-l-was-in-Black Hag 
concoctions, this is an excellent compilation. C+ 
Dave Hatverson 



Anti-theft Device 

Mixmaster Mike - Asphodel Records 




Ace member of the Invisible Scratch Picklz, Mix 
Master Mike delivers a massive 31-trnck excursion 
into film exerpts, boshing hip-hop beats, and non- 
stop scratched funk. From the get-go of Anti-theft 
Device, with Ultra Intro, you know he's about to f*ck 
sh*t up. 5o many staple and unorthodox D| tech- 
niques are being manipulated at once, it might be 
too much for the casual trip-hop/hip-hop listener. 
Then again, there's a cool variety on this album, cut 
and mixed with the baddest of skills, so you'll find 
something to groove to. I'm serious. Solid beats. 
bass that kicks down over every track - d""" 
atmospheric and high-style samples flow ,.-..«.<- 
lessly. Sektor Three, for instance, begins with the 
repeat ' 1 rli(,rt "°' 1 " mrtlD " Mn "' enkaau: Mr 
Mike?...„.. 

Alice, what kind of mushroa 
sauce?" Ha! It's aweson 
to sign Mix Master Mike.-one offlhe best D|s 





VAST 

Visual Audio Sensory Theater 
Elektra Entertainment 



(on Crosby: visionary? Musical genius? How about 
both. The best new music I've heard this decade 
came to me at a listening station at the local Tower 
as "Here"(the first track) slowly burned into my psy- 
che. Morphing from orchestral to metal to ambient 
and beyond, there's more spirit in the first track 
than a pile of anything else in recent memory. 1 
could go on about WIST forever; every track on this 
debut is spellbinding. Need convincing? FF to 
"Touched", the CD's second track. After the chills 
disappear from the Jim Morrison like opening lyric. 
feast on the haunting chant, and then the mesmer- 
izing chorus. Now close your eyes, listen to the rest 
ably on the highest-fi you 
can find} and pray that this is only the beginning. 
The rebirth of real music may be at hand. Hey, I can 
dream, can't I? A+ 
Dave Halverson 



IJIIUfc 

ADVISORY 




mt® 



LtMMW 




Baners ' republic aurai r-eviet 



Logical Prog. 3 

Good Looking Records 



The third offering from LTJ Bu 
Bass musical stable is rather 
The double CD package off< 
merit with the first disc cont 
Intense and vocals from DRS 
being technically competent, 



om LTJ Bukem's insane Drum *n' 
? is rather a mixed bag of tricks, 
ckage offers initial disnppoint- 
disc containing a live set from 
from DRS and MC Conrad. While 
ompetenl, something is lost in 



the production of this type of genre when recorded 
live. Preferably, music of this caliber should be stu- 
dio-based to generate the desired sound for the lis- 
tener. This said, the Intense set is adequate. Level 3 
really scores big points with the second CD as 
Bukem takes studio exclusives by Tayla, Blame, 
Artemis and Big Bud, and mixes the sounds effec- 
tively. A luscious compilation of vibrant tunes 
indeed, but nothing more than we have come to 
expect from Bukem. Overall, Level 3 is recommend- 
ed for Good Looking enthusiasts only. We look for- 
ward to his summer release of original material with 
bated breath. B 
Bryn Williams 



FSUK2 

Ministry of Sound Recordings 



Amid all the loads of compilations and continious 
mix albums, once in every blue moon does an album 
of such enjoyable continous beats appear on store 
shelves. Matt Cantor & Aston Harvey, aka The 
Freestylers, mix recognizable old school hip-hop 
beats and samples and bring them into the new 
school with elements of breakbeat, drum 'n bass 
and house. Eric B. & Rakim, Whodini, and The Jun- 
gle Brothers are American mainstays transformed 
into intensive new school examples of why the 
British scene is still way ahead of the game in the 
remix department. What is most impressive about 
the Ministry of Sound's release is its ability to main- 
tain a frenetic level of scratching, layered tunes and 
a dance worthy lempo, a most difficult task consid 
ering there are 38 tracks on this 2-CD set (or 3X Ltd 
Edition Vinyl release). A superlative collection that 
makes you want to pull out the cardboard and break 
like it was 1983 all over again. A 
Greg Han 



Your #1 Video game Distributor 



XK 



e-mail: sales@witgames.com 
carlo@witgames.com 



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Dark City 



RATED R 



i< 



Trapped in a disturbing cycle of perennial darkness, Dark 
City shows a town where only solemnity and despair can 
exist— light cannot penetrate the stagnant streets, and the 
human spirit is even more impervious to illumination. Its 
buildings' dank hallways invite a sense of gloom, its dusky 
alleyways begin and end in coves of dark-green water. It is 
disturbing in a way, yet darkly beautiful, like a nightmare that 
is frightening but tantalizing, inviting us back for more. There 
is such a wealth of imagination on screen, such a sense of 
wonder, its hard not to be swept away by the glorious design 
of it all. 

Alex Proyas, whose previous effort in The Crow showed his 
compelling ability for framing a visually arresting comic book 
world, uses a provocative script to carry our soaring imagina- 
tions even further. Dork City is a place of the future, a self- 
contained universe populated by a choice few humans, 
picked to serve as an experiment to prolong the existence of 
a dying alien race. The aliens, using the human dead as ves- 
sels for their temporary survival, transplant memories from 
person to person, searching for an answer to what makes 
man unique. They are searching for the soul; finding it, they 
believe, will grant them prolonged life. 




cinematrix 



The city the aliens 
have constructed is 
constantly morphing, 
rising and expanding 
from an energy source 
channeled from their 
collective thoughts. At 
the stroke of midnight, 
the town fails into a 
deep sleep, and it is 
then that the aliens 
make their rounds, 
switching memories, 
creating new identities, 
new lives for the inhab- 
itants. The implications 
of such manipulations i 

what the aliens are studying, and it is here that we see the intrigue of the story: Would a man kill 
if his thoughts were exchanged with that of murderer? Do our memories and experiences mold us, 
or is there an inexorable soul feeding our existence? 

Because one man is somehow unaffected by the "tuning," as it called, and is awakened during 
one of these sessions, the story builds through his attempt at piecing together his shattered mem- 
ories. Watching such a creative and entertaining plight unfold, it's 
almost painful and all the more disappointing to see it end so 
quickly and uninspired as it falls into the gaping crater left by 
the finale of giant explosions and special effects. 
Brady Fiechter 
Out on video and DVD from New Line Home Video. 



From cult movies to blockbusters, film entertainment for the video gamer 




Scream 2 mted h 

Like in the refreshingly creative Scream, the char- 
acters in its sequel know how ridiculous horror 
movies are, and they discuss them with delightful 
fervor every chance they get. They know what 
makes a good sequel - a bigger budget, increasing- 
ly gruesome death scenes, and an ever-more-fright- 
ening killer. 

Scream 2 has it all covered, unraveling its expect- 
ed plot elements through the survivors of the mas- 
sacre seen in the first movie. The unnerving slasher 
in the Halloween ghost costume has apparently 
returned to finish the job he started, stalking 
Sidney (Neve Campbell) and her hapless pals 
across their college campus. 

Anyone who has seen the first Scream will no 
doubt enjoy Scream 2, as it delivers with the same 
ironies, imagination, and intelligence as the first. 
There is one scene in particular, where Sidney and a 
friend get caught in a wrecked taxi as the killer 
stalks them that is an immortal horror moment. 
And oh yes, the blood does flow, living up to expec- 
tation of any good sequel. About the only thing we 
don't get more of — and this is the proverbial fail- 
ure to ail sequels, as pointed out by the characters 
themselves— is a better movie, But one thing the 
characters forget to mention is that few horror films 
are as good as the original movie they starred in. 
Brady Fiechter 
Out on video and DVD from Buena Vista. 




Sphere meaPG-13 

Have you ever read a book and then been disap- 
pointed by the movie adaptation? If yes, then 
Sphere might do this to you again. 

Featuring an all-star cast, the story is based on 
the book by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park et at). A 
group of specialists are sent to the bottom of the 
Pacific Ocean to investigate what seems to be an 
alien ship from the past... or is it the future? 

Dr. Goodman (Dustin Hoffman) and Co. (Sharon 
Stone, Samuel L. Jackson) soon discover that the 
seemingly deserted ship holds a strange sphere 
with the ability to re-create your worst fears. 

Although the special effects are pretty good 
(especially the sphere itself), epic scenes from the 
book -the giant squid being the best example -are 
not actually seen and are left to the viewer's imagi- 
nation. 

Despite the long running-time, the movie leaves 
too many questions unanswered and the ending- 
let's not even go there! Although the story is a good 
one, maybe it should have been left on the book- 
shelf and not given to Hollywood. 
Angela Harrod 

Out on video and DVD from Warner Bros Home 
Video. 



AVtittM* 





U.S. Marshals rated pg-13 

If you've seen The Fugitive (and let's face it, you 
probably have) you'll remember Sam Gerard 
(Tommy-Lee Jones) - that hard-ass U.S. Marshal 
who barks orders at his subordinates and frowns a 
lot. Well, he's back in U.5. Marshals, and for him, 
history is repeating itself. 

The chase is back on, but this time the fugitive is 
Mark Roberts (Wesley Snipes), a mysterious assas- 
sin who has apparently gunned down two Secret 
Service agents. Professing his innocence through- 
out, Snipes is on the trail to get that much-needed 
proof, when the plane carrying the prisoners crash- 
es, Roberts gets his chance to escape, and then the 
US Marshals are hot on his trail.. .sound familiar? 

Things don't look great for either party when 
Roberts becomes involved with a Chinese spy ring 
and Gerard is joined by a cocky government agent 
(Robert Downey Jr) - just to add that extra bit of fric- 
tion and stress. 

The movie has a good, solid story, plenty of 
action, decent acting and does what it sets out to do 
- be a very enjoyable action flick. Incidentally, if you 
thought the train crash in the original was cool, the 
plane scene in this one is even better! 
Recommended. 
Angela Harrod 

Out on video and DVD from Warner Bros Home 
Video. 






Mttaitt 



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page 107 cint matrix interview 






r 




'o you find time to play video games 

used to play video games, a lot, but I've been so 

Lll ely I'm afraid to go near them because if I do, 

' won't be able to... ! used to sit in front of 

Quest for like 40 hours. So I'm just getting 

back into it, but I loathe to do so, because I know I'll 

^■be hooked. It's like the same reason I was reluctant 

jBto play Bridge when I was at M.I. T., because the guys 

|ftho would play Bridge would never graduate. 

What attracted you to Light and Darkness: the 

Prophecy Project? 

For one thing, Lolita Davidovich was doing it and she 
called up and said "Listen, I'm doing this thing, it 
really sounds like fun, would you like to do it?" And 
I met the guys and saw how the storyline was going 
to work, and I thought it was a very sophisticated. It 
wasn't a Dungeons and Dragons type thing, it was 
much more cerebral in a way, and I liked that about 
it. I think that's what drew me into it. 
Would you like to work on any more video game 
projects in the future? 

I would, actually. I had a great time doing it because 
we were sort of in the dark on how it was going to 
work. Lolita was in a chair with all the gizmos on to 
give them the points of light to animate her, and I 




was just sort of the omni- 
scient voice. And a lot of 
times we were in areas 
where you had to do so 
many permutations it was 
hard to tell where 
we were going. I 
kind of like it when 
you're not sure 
where you're going 
with it and you kind 
of have to explore 
it. 

/ know a tot of people are reluctant to play games, 
but when they really sit down and give them a try, 
they're hooked. Do many of your colleagues, writ- 
ers... just anyone on the set play games? 
I know a lot of gamers because a lot of my friends 
are Mac and Windows savvy. I've always been on the 
Mac myself. In fact, I just got a PC, so now I can use 
Windows. It's of course the junior version of the 
Mac, but there's obviously just so much more soft- 
war available. My best friend is sort of a big com- 
puter guy, and I always have been, so we were going 
to sit down and do Light & Darkness. But I haven't 
done it yet because I'm starting work on a movie 
tomorrow, and I thought if I start, I'm going to be 
interrupted a lot. And I want to sit down and just 
crack it. They say you can crack it if you really sit 
down and crank it. I want to see if I can do it. 
Yeah, film obviously keeps you busy What are you 
getting ready to work on? 
Clint Eastwood's new movie, called True Crime. The 
thing is, when I used to be playing the games and 
I would get on the set, if I had a portable, I'd set up 
the computer in the trailer. It would be tough 
because they'd say, "Come on guys, we need you 
on the set." And I just wanted one more round, 
because you couldn't save right away. You find 
yourself in the middle of being really distracted. 
How did you get started as an actor? 
I got started by doing theater in college and high 
school, and then went to New York and did theater 




I 



"...you had to do so many permutations it was hard to tell where we 

were going. I kind of like it when you're not sure where you're going 

with it and you kind of ham to explore it" 



there, and worked my way up to I 
the movies. 

Can you site a particular movie, 
maybe years ago, where, after- 
seeing it, you told yourself, "I 
gotta be in film in some capacity. " 
Yes, it was On the Waterfront with 
Marlon Brando. I just loved thaty 
movie. I thought it was so real and 
powerful. That was definitely it. 
Are there any directors you'd love 
to work with in the future? 
JW: Yes, Francis Ford Coppola I 
think is great, Penny Marshal I'd 
love to work with. I'm trying to 
think of some I haven't worked 
with. Barry Levinson. Ayoungguyl 
really like is Paul Thomas 
Anderson. He was good with 
Boogie Nights. Quentin Tarantino 
too. 

What are some of your more recent 
favorite movies? 

Fargo was my favorite movie in the 
past couple years. I loved it. 
What did you think of Titanic win- 
ning the Oscar? 

Well, I thought it was preordained 
that it would. It's a very extravagant 
Hollywood movie, and those big, 
dramatic movies are always Oscar 
material. 

But did it deserve it? 
People voted for it, so sure, it 
deserved it. I'm sort of a democra- 
tic guy that way. It's a vote from the 
Academy members, and that was 
their vote. When people say does a 
movie deserve it or does an actor deserve it, I say 
the guy won it, he deserves it. In the past, you 
could argue that so and so deserves this or that, 
and it's so close, but it clearly appealed to people 
more than something else did. 
Did you have a chance to see LA. Confidential? 
Oh yeah, I loved LA. Confidential. A terrific film. 
Any actors that, when you were coming up as a 
fledgling actor, you drew inspiration from? 
Betty Davis and Montgomery Gift I thought were 
two of the great ones. GR 





1 1- 






FRLLOU 

Welcome to the first intelligent banter with our respected readership. Should you wish to put pen to paper (or f 
to keyboard), please write to: Fallout, Gamers' Republic, 32123 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite 218, 
Westlake Village, CA 91361 USA (edltorial@gamersrepubllccom). 




Well, let me just say that your first issue 
was. ..interesting. I was reading the reviews 
on Parasite Eve when I said the three magi- 
cal words: "This is Bullshit." And you ask 
why? Well, for one, thing the reviewer (Ryan 
Lockhart) was totally narrow-minded. Para- 
site Eve is an innovative game made by the 
U.S. Squaresoft team. Have you ever seen a 
game made by U.S. Squaresoft?? Hello?? 
What he has said had a few good points, but 
he's not looking for what the game was real- 
ly about. Parasite Eve is a game that shows a 
different aspect of what Square usually does. 
You take it for its beautiful CG, music, game- 



cerning Mr. Lockhart's Parasite Eve preview. 
People had some, shall we say, strong opin- 
ions. However, there is no question that the 
game has more flaws than it should. And 
even if it can't be expected to live up to stan- 
dards set by FFVII, that's simply the position 
Squaresoft put itself in when it set the bar so 
high. Who's ever disillusioned when a weak 
game comes from Midway? But if anything, 
we were glad to receive letters from those 
with opinions other than our editors. It's a 
sign that people care about their games and 
have their own thoughts, and we find that 
highly encouraging. 



your previews refreshingly blunt and 
detailed. This is particularly important as t P^J 
have found too, too many times in the past in ,' 
other gaming mags that previews go all out . -]' 
to sing an upcoming title's praises, and then 
when the game actually comes out, it is rated 
at about the level of cow dung. Major recent 
examples - Spawn and Deathtrap Dungeon. 
And I fear that Batman and Robin will soon 
join that less than elite category, too. Mind 
you, I feel it was based on a totally crap 
movie Qoel Schumacher should be shot in 
the ! for such an atrocity!), but I 





r 



digress... I have in the past felt quite misled 
play and innovation. Not everything can live by these previews. Your previews seem to be 



hi 



i 




up to the the Final Fantasy standard. And 
also, I happen to have read the Xenogears 
review. Same reaction... only it was after I 
read the first paragraph alone. Once again, 
this game is trying to live up to the same 
standards, but I believe it's a much better 
effort than Parasite Eve. It has amazing CG, 
music and gameplay. And most of all, the 
story... Square is known for its great story. 
It's what makes us feel great after playing for 
60+ hours in a game saying we finally con- 
quered it. It's what makes us cry when we 
find out that Aeris is dead. That is what 
Square is about. I know that I may sound like 
an avid supporter of Square, but really what I 
am is a gamer. I don't support all of Square's 
merchandise. Nor should anybody. I'm just 
looking for a good game. If you really want 
to rag about a game, trying doing so to 
something that deserves it (i.e. Bushido 
Blade 2, Soukaigi). Not much for me to say 
about those. I hope that I get my message 
through that you can't have a reviewer that is 
pessimistic and 

narrow-minded. I'm not saying that the per- 
son is biased, but the fact of the matter is, 
being biased is what makes a reviewer good. 
Good luck. 

-Ben Truong via e-mail 



Hey, I just thought I'd write you and say how 
great I think your mag is. I just picked up 
your first two issues and was very impressed 
with the wealth of information. I read 
almost every gaming mag and I feel that 



a lot more realistic, even recognizing that the 
preview is of a game that is as yet unfinished 
and whose shortcomings could still be reme- 
died prior to release. Please keep it up! I 
also really want to commend you on your 

..,,.., , ..,,, , ,, . fabulous Japan gaming coverage! I am an 

yours is the best I ve ever read. What realltf^.. ._,.,, . 

, . . ... c - l *■ import gamer and really appreciate the 

makes me happy is your wealth of import , r .. *: . . . y K " M ,, ._ 

. c ,. v. ' ,„ . . . detailed descriptions (especially as I don t 

information and import CD reviews. I have ,, .; . . ■ ■ 

t j tit 1 j read Japanese ). ts great to read details 

just started picking up import games and . \ \Z V 1 L . j ■* l. 

' , 1 1 j . .. j n. L-»» ■ about games that are playable despite the 
CDs (mainly due to the death of the Saturn in^_, .... „ ■ • 

^^nguage limitations. Your other features 






m 

1 t'li'ji 



i. 



.>< 



■ -.<■ 



■W?-t 



the US, but I've also started picking up some ' 
PlayStation imports... TOBAL 2 IS THE 
GREATEST FIGHTING GAME EVER), and it's 
hard to find out if the games I'm going to be 
buying are any good or not. How soon do you 
think your internet page should be up? I'm 
greatly anticipating it and hope it will be up A 
soon. Also could you possibly post a Japan- 4 
ese release list on your site? I've looked all 
over the web and I can't find anywhere that 
lists when games will be coming out for 
importers. Well, in closing I'd just like to say- 
keep up the good work. 

-BbobbJJ via e-mail 



also made for great reading (such as the 
developer interviews) and I really enjoyed 
getting inside the developer's head, so to 
speak. You can be sure I will soon be send- 
ing in my subscription order! Thanks for the 
very pleasant surprise magazine! 

-Lady Gamer from NYC via e-mail 



• - 1 

m 



And on the other side of the fence.. 



We had to answer this one 'cause it lets us 
hype our internet site. Internet director Bryn 
Williams speaks... 

As far as the site goes, you might want to 
check out www.gamersrepublic.com right 
about now! We have a launch site operational? 

I and our main site will be up and live hopefully 

. . ,1 have a couple of comments directed at one , .. ... r , 

• * „ ■ . , . r ...... . . 1 n a ro u n d 1- 2 in o n t h s . We h a ve to m a ke s u re 
of your staff, who I already feel 1 11 be havingv n- »i*i e*u i_- u * \u *u c 

^ _ * , ..... „ - inat it is or the hiehest quality, therefore we 

v ,%-en interesting readership with, one Ryan , ,..., ,. ' , .. ,_ ' . .. , 

v vV , , ,. ■ ■ . „ , - . , *!L want a little time to get it just right. Import 

.^ Lockhart. Heheheh... Kudos for being the ,.,, ... , , . .. ' , , .; . 

^^*«*^ r . .. ... . . ... titles will feature heavily on the main site, and^ 

^W^/T first ve read that doesn't just weep with joy _ . - , , , ,, , -%- • 

M|a*b(\ . L . „ WJ _ ' . *, t ,, ' * we may or may not include a release list. 

"•about how great Parasite Eve is and tells it _. ,, __ ..: , . c 

■ — - . . , 5 _ . , ,. . " That s something we need to figure out. I can 

%*_.. Tike it is. was fairly disappointed after r-** ,,. iU , , t , 4 . 

, . ' ,r l i . promise you one thing though, and that is 

,'. , playing the game myself, though I now ., .^n^ r m u .u ™u 

^* » ; , . ?«. -L- L . c -.- - that GR-Online will be the number one source 

r. •_: understand that it has a coup e of positive •v.— 

#••**! .■ . , L c .. i of video gaming information. Period. 

j \^LMssues most might not be aware of... Natural; -^. 

f "4^ly I welcome any response to my comments, ,' : ~ 

CSbut that won't stop from writing in again I'm Just wanted to drop you guys a note saying „ ._ 

if sure. "*vvhat a terrific new magazine you've put ~ j 

together! I just plowed through the premiere 

issue nonstop, and am now working my way - 

^Ve were shocked by th^cteluge of mail con- * ,thrc;uglUhe^erontl issue. So far, I've found 

Put "y^"' ■ 



^/Vou raise an interesting and delicate point, 
L w Ms. Lady Gamer. It is of course the job of a 
**C^review to withhold final judgement on a 
' game's quality, but there is some room for a 
hint that a game is not coming along as it 
should. As a reader, you have a right to know 
this. And while it's true that some games can 
go through a miraculous turnaround in its last 
few months, a 70 percent game that looks and 
plays like poo almost always ends up being 
poo. You can generally tell if a game's basic 
concept is strong enough to survive the lack 
of polish and tweaking that usually accompa- 
nies a preview copy. We'll continue to do our 
best to be fair to companies and to you, our 
readers. 



-Douglas Shark via e-mail 



Thanks to everyone who took the time to 
■drop us a line. we were enamored with the 
-health of positive comments and took — 

MUCH OF THE CRITICISM TO HEART. We READ ALL 
' LETTERS AND WELCOME ALL COMMENTS, GOOD 
OR BAD. 

NOTE: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO EMAIL INDIVIDUAL 
EDITORS, SIMPLY USE THEIR FIRST NAME INITIAL 
FOLLOWED BY LAST NAME. EXAMPLE: DHALVER- 
■ S0N@GAMERSREPUBLIC.COM 



m\ 



r5 : 
>■ 1 



li 



- ►> 






.thrqughihe second is: 

-". *:1 !.' •; • • -if- -4- r ^. 



?m vll 



3 r 



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/ ^Mot He w S Upc omming Titlcs\ 




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□ Quake for Nintendo 64 

Q Turok 2 for Nintendo 64 & PC 

□ Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation 

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Prices include all applicable taxes. Prices and guide 
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ng next month 



coming next month 



■.LOGIN INITIALIZED 

■.BEGIN TRANSMISSION 









When Gamers' Republic editors enter a new 
realm of real-time strategic warfare, this can 
mean a comprehensive behind-the-scenes 
playtest of only one game: Westwood's 
Command & Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun. 
Packed with exclusive screenshots, a team 
interview and an abundance of artwork, key 
GR hacks are preparing a Nod offensive (util- 
ising the many new combat vehicles such as 
the tunnel tank and heavy dreadnaughts) as 
you read this. When we return from our 
Vegas/Westwood melee, we'll inform you of 
our battlefield simulation results. 
We're also enthusiastic about the return of 
Rayman. A whimsical inhabitant of a bril- 
liantly colorful fantasy world, Rayman is 
making his move into the third dimension in 
surprising style. His second venture is set to 
propel Ubisoft into the hearts and minds of 
discerning U.S. gamers, and rightly so. We 
leap around Rayman 2's fabulously detailed 
environments next time... 

Of course, what would an issue of Gamers' 
Republic be without a massive feature on a 
spectacular first-person shooting title? Well, 
Half-Life fans needn't be disappointed as we 
fly up for a weekend with the team, conduct 
interviews and, yes, conduct that "hands-on 
playtest" for your perusal. 

Of course, all the latest and greatest con- 
sole software from E3 shall be delved into 
as we continue to fulfill your desire for top- 
quality video game reporting. Until next 
time... Game Over. 



11 
w 










X-Men vs. Street Fighter 

Faster & Better Than PSX Version! 




VISIT OUR CYBER STORE 



All Japan Pro-Wrestlin; 




Gamers have been asking about this game. It's 
finally available and with the 4 meg ram cart, it's 
a dream come true. Just like the arcade. 



4M 
TURBO-KEY 

For the Sega Saturn 



Vampire Savior is almost identical to the arcade 
game. The Saturn, in conjunction with the four meg 
cart, have effectively become a CPS2 board, which 
incredibly speeds the games loading time. Four new 
characters have been added since Night Warriors, 
and they are lull of insane, special moves and all man- 
ners of Capcom style quirkiness. 





The Replay Pro is an adapter to 
play imported games with a 4 meg 
ram cart, a back-up memory card. 
Never will you need to swap con- 
verters and ram carts again when 
you play your imported Saturn 
games. Ideal for games like "X- 
Men vs. Street Fighter, Vampire 
Savior and King of Fighters '97. 



PRI-FUN COLOR PRINTER 



This inexpensive, yet efficient printer 
will allow you to transfer images from 
your TV, VCR, Camcorder, or Video 
Game system onto photo paper! It is 
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provide you with countless fun pro- 
jects. 

Available only at Electronics Boutique! 




Pri-Fun Photo Paper 
There are two types of 
photo paper. Regular 
paper (6X7) and Sticker 
paper. Each pack comes 
with 30 sheets 



Pri-Fun Toner 

Each Toner will allow 
you to print 30 pic- 
tures. Easy to install 
into your Pri-Fun. 



Pri-Fun Pause Pack 

This adapter will allow you to 
capture any frame on the 
screen by freezing the image. 
It also enhances the image of 
the print out. 



Dragon Ball A Legend 



A great wrestling game by the makers of "King I 
Fighters' series. The game features some of Japan 
best Pro-Wrestlers battling out it in this awesome 3 
wrestling game. 



A fighting game that 
features the most popu- 
lar animated character 
"In The World". The 
game features 3D spec- 
trum fighting with 2D 
animated characters. 



ST-KEY 

For the Sega Saturn 



BLAZING TORNADO 





This is an all time 
favorite 2D wrestling 
game. Featuring 8 
wrestlers and dozens of 
awesome maneuvers 
and wrestling moves. 
This game is a must 
have for wrestling fans, 



An adapter that plugs into the car 
tridge port to allow the Saturn t( 
play imported software. Ideal fc 
Japanese and European game - 
{Converter does not translate tl 
texts). 



Please call for more import titles and accessories for the Sega Saturn™, N64 and Playstation Systems. 






FIRE PRO-WRESTLING 



DEAD or ALIVE 



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For mail orders and inquires: 
Tel: (626)839-8755 
Fax: (626) 839-8751 

email: tommogames@aoi.com 



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andthe PlayStation logos ... c , 

Software Association. Konami® is a registered trademark of Konami Co., Ltd. ©1998 Konami of America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.